Chapter 6 Page 3 of 3

Wouldn’t it be better if the phone companies would simply prevent the cloning in the first place? It would cost less money to implement a strong security protocol than it costs to develop and maintain the current “solution.” There are costs associated with developing and maintaining the call-monitoring software, reprogramming phones suspected of cloning, managing the reimbursements for cloned phones, and handling all the customer questions over outragious bills for cloned phones. The situation is made worse by the ease with which the phones can be cloned. The result is that a typical customer must go through this nonsense several times (before he or she gets fed up and discontinues the service).

As consumers we deserve better. There is no excuse for a company actively involved in Electronic Commerce or telecomunications not to employ affordable technology to remove barriers to efficient markets and deliver the level of security consumers expect. To misrepresent the situation and inform customers that greater security cannot be achieved is simply wrong.

There was a time when the US automobile company claimed that greater safety could not be delivered in reasonably priced automobiles. We now know this is not true. We also see the fallacy in the argument that, because an automobile cannot be made so that a head-on collision into a brick wall at 85 mph is survivable, there is little point in building in any safety features. We recognize that while consumers must accept some risk, this is no reason to completely do away with all safety. An 85 mph collision might be fatal, but a 35 mph collision shouldn’t be. Similarly, while it is true that some data may be too sensitive to be put on the Internet in any form, certainly there is some data that, while too sensitive to be put on the net in the clear, is not too sensitive to transmit in encrypted form.

Pseudo-One is right to recognize that absolute security is not possible, but as consumers we deserve those protections that can be delivered at reasonable cost. Happily, ample security is achievable at very low cost.