TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Fred Phelps Fax Machine Antics

Re: Fred Phelps Fax Machine Antics

John C. Fowler (
Thu, 5 Apr 2007 17:14:44 PDT

It sounds to me like it may be easier to handle the junk FAXes in
perpetuity rather than attempt to get the group to stop. (Though if
Sweden's royal family would put their public FAX on one of those
premium international numbers, they'd actually make a little bit of
money every time they receive a FAX from the U.S., which would make
the situation interesting.)

To handle the junk FAXes, first, make sure you've taken care of the
basics. These FAXes should not be printing out on paper anywhere. If
the royal family FAXes are a room full of paper-printing machines,
it's time to upgrade to a fully digital solution. You want to make
the FAXes easier to delete than they are to send, without killing
trees in the process.

For people you get a lot of FAXes from, or very important FAXers, give them a special private number, totally different from the public FAX number (not off by 1, for example). These FAXes will be given preferential treatment.

I'm not sure if the next option is available in Sweden, but maybe it
can be made available by royal decree. Ideally, you want your public
FAX receiving server to capture the caller ID from incoming FAXes, and
put them in separate "inboxes" depending on where they're coming from.
For example, FAXes coming from some other place in Sweden will go in
one box, other trusted international locations in another box, and
anything from Kansas or where ID is not available or blocked goes into
a "review first" box. For this last box, hire someone not easily
offended to rush through all FAXes and mark them as junk (instantly
deleted) or possibly OK (sent to another box for a higher-up
reviewer). It should not take very long to determine one kind of FAX
from another at this level.

Then, all you have to do is wait and see who gets tired first. Heck,
donate all of the international call funds received from Fred Phelps'
organization to a pro-homosexual group, and thank them for their kind

John C. Fowler,

[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: That's a good idea, except I do not
think telco call forwarding will allow phone numbers to be forwarded
to a 900 or 976 number, and even if the rules allow that, my
understanding is that tolls are charged to the person doing the
forwarding. What a surprise that would be for the King, eh ? Telco's
rationale for that -- if it is allowed -- is that the original caller
only intended to reach the first point; any forwarding to the second
point was being done for the convenience of the call recipient, who is
therefore obligated to pay the toll portion. Far better, IMO, for Nina
or whoever handles the King's telecom to require a passcode to get
past the telco switch. Let Swedish telecom fiddle around with it all.

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