Customer Activated Malicious Call Trace

Apart from a few updates, this page is as it was in 1996 - a discussion of call tracing, especially for one-off calls, in other countries and how better methods should be adopted in Australia..

Note 19 October 2005:
The following page and the pages it links to are old, but hopefully still relevent in principle.  They used to be at .  By the way, see David Hickson's UL pages on the problem of "silent calls" - calls which arrive without any person or announcement to tell the recipient what the call is about: .

Note 13 November 2005:
ACIF has a draft code C525:2005 Handling of Life Threatening and Unwelcome Calls Industry Code:  which will result in an update to the existing code:

The definition of "malicious call" is no longer in section 85ZE of the Crimes Act, it is in section 474.17 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 ( , but try here for a PDF):
474.17 Using a carriage service to menace, harass or cause offence
(1) A person is guilty of an offence if:
(a) the person uses a carriage service; and
(b) the person does so in a way (whether by the method of use or the content of a communication, or both) that reasonable persons would regard as being, in all the circumstances, menacing, harassing or offensive.
   Penalty: Imprisonment for 3 years.

(2) Without limiting subsection (1), that subsection applies to menacing, harassing or causing offence to:
(a) an employee of the NRS provider; or
(b) an emergency call person; or
(c) an employee of an emergency service organisation; or
(d) an APS employee in the Attorney-General’s Department acting as a National Security Hotline call taker.
The section before this, 474.15 is of interest too.  It prohibits using a carriage service (eg. the phone network) to threaten to kill or seriously harm a person.  Section 474.16 concerns calls "with the intention of inducing a false belief that an explosive, or a dangerous or harmful substance or thing, has been or will be left in any place. 

A properly designed and well publicised CAMCT service would be of tremendous value for detering and detecting misuse of the phone network in many instances where the calls are not repetitive enough to be effectively traced with conventional approaches, which involve days delay to set up a trace facility:
To the issues page of this site.  To the telemarketing pages of this site

Robin Whittle - 17 December 1996
Keywords: privacy, telecommunications, Australia, malicious call trace


Files in this directory

For the latest updates in reverse date order, click here!

Other resources

I have not found a comprehensive page of links anywhere on malicious calls and tracing arrangements, so I guess this is it!

Analysis and policy


Telcos offering Customer Activated Call Trace


Miscellaneous links



ISDN related links


Updates sorted by date

This is a list of updates and new files in this section, in reverse date order.