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Re: Anonymous phone calls.


>>     Is there any way to make a phone call anonymously?  Caller ID can be
>> blocked somewhat with one of those *## numbers dialed before the call
>> is made.  Is there a way to route a call through a series of phone-type
>> remailer systems?  This would allow one to make a call that would be as
>> hard to trace as anonymous mail.

> There's a 1-900 number that is supposed to do this.
> Which I could remember what it was.

I think it's 1-900-STOPPER. Not sure, use it at your own risk.

Routing calls through many locations is possible if you aren't wound up
about toll fraud; once upon a time it was SOP, back when MCI and the 
rest all had 7-digit local dialups which gave you another dialtone;
folks who wanted to make tracing a call tougher could call a local
dialup, use a "k0de" and call a dialup across the country, use a "k0de"
to call a third dialup, and so forth; finally use another "k0de" to call
the real target. Signal quality decreases with each hop. I imagine that
folks still do this with PBX's and the like, though my impression is 
that there isn't much left for a phreak to do these days.

Don't forget our friend Mister Payphone. Not stylish, but still
relatively anonymous. Also useful may be the pre-paid calling cards;
Pat Townson (sp?), the Telecom Digest moderator, was selling them
for awhile. I understand they're also available in truck stops and
on college campuses, but can't remember seeing them. (Haven't gone
looking, though). I've got a few of the ones that Pat was selling
left, if anyone wants to pony up some Tacky Tokens. The ones I've
seen involve an 800 number, so somebody knows you made the call -
but if it's a peculiar little reseller connected to an aggregator
who buys time from whoever's got it cheapest, it may be hard to track
them down to make them talk.

And, of course, there are any number of ways to "borrow" a phone
with varying degrees of legality/morality - lots of places around
town here have "courtesy phones" where you can make a local call;
just ask a salesperson in a department store, or look around at a
university. If you've got a lineman's set - or a cheap $10 phone
with alligator clips instead of an RJ-11, any phone line can be
yours, for a few minutes.

I guess the short answer is that the really anonymous ways aren't
convenient or legal, if it's a long-distance call. Remember, blocking
caller ID means that the called party doesn't know who called,
but the phone company still does.

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