Policy Idea

It's absurd that we have mechanisms to block email spam but we still, in 2019, do not have mechanisms in palce to block phone call spam (robo calls). This is an attempt to think of a standardized interface that all phone companies in America must implement in order with legislation that has yet to be written.


I have recently implemented a little DNS server in my house. DNS is sort of like the internet's phone book: it takes a domain name and tells you what IP address to find that domain at. The reasons for implementing my own DNS server are two fold: – Your ISP is your default DNS server. This means that even if you are using HTTPS for eveything and you think your web browsing is encrypted and hidden from snooping, you're still telling your ISP about every website you visit by virtue of your computer calling them to do a DNS lookup everytime you request a webpage. every time you request a webpage. This offends my growing paranoia. – By setting up this little DNS server in my house, I'm able to block certain domains that I don't want to be served. In practice this means using a gadget called “Pi-hole” that crowdsources the process of listing out domains that are known to be either ad networks or connected with serving malware. There are currently 112,784 domains on the lists that I'm using, so even when using the NY Times mobile app that's covered with ads

All wireless carriers must permit the blocking of calls by blocked numbers. Each account (phone number) should have an accessible method by which users can add numbers to block at the carrier level. This is like the “block this caller” feature on the iPhone but at the carrier level.