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U.S. Election Gives VoIP Traffic A Bump 180

Posted by timothy
from the far-out-to-mainstream dept.
phoneboy writes "According to this news story on Voxilla.com, a number of VoIP service providers have experienced higher-than-normal call volumes today. The calls were traced to mostly Democratic volunteers making calls in key battleground states."
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U.S. Election Gives VoIP Traffic A Bump

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 03, 2004 @04:30AM (#10708540)
    Is it because the Republicans didn't need the calls, or that they couldn't figure out the VoIP software?
    • Re:VoIP Democrats (Score:2, Interesting)

      by borcharc (56372)
      I had 20 Republicans makeing phone calls on 8 ata's and 4 voip phones with a asterisk backend calling for four days stright. Both parties were doing this.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Does this relate to this slashdot story [slashdot.org]

    • As far as I can tell, not really, except for the fact that both involve the US.
      • by isometrick (817436) on Wednesday November 03, 2004 @04:36AM (#10708567)
        "... Sakaria did a quick check of caller IDs and found that most of the calls from the Democratic party ..."

        They actually did look at the caller ID of their customer's calls!? And at least researched them enough to figure out that they were Republican or Democratic volunteers?

        Holy crap! Isn't this kind of data mining illegal?
        • prolly not, after all its internal research and the data released didnt tie the names to the info
        • All of the calls I got from any party or group trying to get people to vote [be it for a particular person/party or just vote] were from '000-000-0000' or 'Unknown Number' according to the caller ID, so I doubt this is it.
        • Remember that the next time you whine that new kinds of carriers shouldn't be subject to the normal rules for carriers. Circuit-switched carriers would be in seven different kinds of hot water if they snooped this out and disclosed it without a court order, but VOIP has a computer in it so of course it is completely new and shouldn't be hamstrung with a lot of silly bureaucratic rules....
  • Huh?? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by DigiShaman (671371) on Wednesday November 03, 2004 @04:32AM (#10708543) Homepage
    Ummm ok...so what is so important about this bit of news? Are they implying that most VOIP users are democrats?
    • no (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anubis350 (772791)
      as I said in my post below, its more showing how new/cheaper communication technologies are affecting the election and voter turnout. This article doesnt have much to do with politics (though it is interesting that more democrats seem to be using this than republicans, perhaps democrats tend to be more tech savvy?)
      • Re:no (Score:2, Interesting)

        by DigiShaman (671371)
        Based on the politcal slant on Slashdot, I would say yes. Techies tend to sway Left by a large factor. Then again, Slashdot IS worldwide. And most people on the internet by virtue of being international, tend to be very liberal. I'm not saying this in a bad way, but that would be the facts.
        • Techies tend to sway Left by a large factor.

          If Slashdot is a representative sample, that's true. On the other hand, I'm not sure I know any left-wing techs in real life. Some libertarians, but no lefties, and I live in the most left-wing town in Alaska.

          Is it really so that techs are liberal? Why would that be if so?

          • It's just that the loudest/funniest/editor people on slashdot are liberal, so you assume that slashdot is a liberal crowd. That doesn't mean techies are liberal.
          • Re:no (Score:2, Interesting)

            by cgadd (65348)
            My wife was suprised when I mentioned how left-leaning slashdot is overall.

            I'm curious why that is. I'm the same as you, in that I know a bunch of techies, and none of them are liberal.

            Maybe it's because slashdot has a lot of students? Or lots of unemployed techies?
            • Ya, I second that. I don't know any liberal techies in real life either. And I live in Austin Texas. I'm sure they are out there, even in droves. But I have yet to meet one personally.

              As for the students, I would have to say yes. More often that not, the counter culture (which is the youth of America) has always been progressive.
        • "Based on the politcal slant on Slashdot, I would say yes. Techies tend to sway Left by a large factor. Then again, Slashdot IS worldwide. And most people on the internet by virtue of being international, tend to be very liberal. I'm not saying this in a bad way, but that would be the facts."

          I think that it's just a matter of perspective.

          I for exymple wouldn't agree with you that slashdot is left-wing but that is largely because I have a different definition of what is being left-wing. That's because in E
        • by tunah (530328)
          And most people on the internet by virtue of being international, tend to be very liberal.

          What? It'd be more valid to say that most people voting, by virtue of being US citizens, tend to be on the far right. (Not valid of course, just more so). Get some perspective.

    • If a tech gets used in a new way, slashdot points at it and goes "LOOKIE!!!!". It's part of the news for nerds that seems to have all but dissapeared from slashdot.
  • yet another effect of new/cheaper communication technology on getting the vote out. E-Mails/IMs/websites are nothing new these days, but I've heard about groups of volunteers getting together to use free cell minutes to make calls and now VOIP. Rock on!
  • Calls (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Those calls really helped too.
  • My wife and I rarely use our Vonage account.
    However, we have dialed just about every family member we know of in the last 24-hours trying to get them out to the polls. Since we're both at home, we might as well use our "landline."
    DUH!
    • Brilliant job. I did not vote for George Bush. However, I know at least two people who did not vote for Kerry because they got tired of all the phone calls. Not sure exactly how many, but I know that my house had 27 calls on our answering maching in the 72 hours leading up to the election. Part of this is that I live in Ohio. I wonder how many people were fed up with the spam and decided not to vote for Kerry.
  • I for one (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    "The calls were traced to mostly Democratic volunteers making calls in key battleground states"

    Surely I'm not the only one that finds this statement rather disturbing.
  • traced? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 03, 2004 @04:40AM (#10708585)
    how the hell can they trace it to "democrats", wow, talk about Orwells 1984 in action.
    • Re:traced? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by tonsofpcs (687961) <{slashback} {at} {tonsofpcs.com}> on Wednesday November 03, 2004 @04:43AM (#10708593) Homepage Journal
      Seems more like they monitor them. With some of these VoIP agreements, you let them not only track your calls, but monitor them. Read your agreements. This has changed for many of them since they started, but some still do have a monitoring provision.

      • With some of these VoIP agreements, you let them not only track your calls, but monitor them.

        I would still think they would only monitor calls if the caller is a criminal or suspicious (or terrorist, as they're called now -- but maybe being a democrat is nowadays enough to qualify as potential terrorist).
        • Re:traced? (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Razzak (253908) on Wednesday November 03, 2004 @05:27AM (#10708728)
          Remove the tin-foil hat man. When your network usage spikes, you find out whose spiking it. When you find out whose spiking, you might call them up and ask why.

          Just a thought.
          • If you read the article, it mentions some specific costomers. One made 15K calls in one day. This kind of customer is commercial. It simply shows up in the billing statement/logs. Now if the consumer just happened to be a Democrat call center... with volunteers manning the phone bank..

            Does any of this make sense? It's not rocket science. It's log files, high traffic, and comercial customer accounts, IE, call center with lots of phones. The provider is going to know who has the account.
  • spam (Score:1, Insightful)

    i call it spam
  • by aacool (700143) <moc.liamg2abmalnamaa> on Wednesday November 03, 2004 @04:43AM (#10708595) Journal
    The VOIP boom is just beginning - the effect on the Telcos cannot be overestimated.

    Since the FCC is (currently) Republican, except harder regulation in the upcoming Presidential term on VOiP carriers.

    It's a stretch though, to imagine that Democrats are larger VOIP users than Republicans - that's data mining carried to the extreme.

    • Since the FCC is (currently) Republican, except [sic, expect?] harder regulation in the upcoming Presidential term on VOiP carriers.

      What a croc. Do you honestly believe that the Republican Party can control the FCC? Sure, Michael Powell is a republican and the titular head of the FCC, but you must understand that the org itself is a huge bureaucracy with many many career bureaucrats, managers, and engineers.

      Beyond, that, why would the FCC (assuming it is controled by one party or the other), try to per
      • Although I believe his accusation is still tripe, it's funny that you should mention millions of dollars in donations...

        The charts for 2000 [opensecrets.org] and 2002 [opensecrets.org] show AT&T donating a total of $4.1 million to the Republican party.

        Obligatory disclaimer: I just grabbed those numbers from Google so don't place all manner of faith in them (though the site claims they came from the Federal Election Commission), they didn't donate nearly so much in the 2004 cycle, and I'm sure they probably donated a similar amount t

  • by Threni (635302) on Wednesday November 03, 2004 @04:43AM (#10708597)
    > The calls were traced to mostly Democratic volunteers making calls in key
    > battleground states."

    Well, given that they'll all be crying, I guess at least there'll be a good compression ratio!
    • Or... (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Preparing for a possible civil war. (I think Bush will strike first but blame the democrats, before the provisional ballots or recounts or appeals are done).

      Don't forget: in the event of a civil war, food shipments may be irregular, so plant a garden.

      • But but but......liberals don't believe in gun ownership. I guess that means Repubs and Libertarians win by default.

        Ohhh how love the irony. *grin*
        • I don't believe in gun ownership because:
          a) The guns you can legally own now are no match for the US military, other than shotguns and
          b) When the civil war comes, guns will be very easy to get. You underestimate arms dealers and the wish to make a buck.

          But there won't be a civil war just yet. Wait until the next round of Bush tax cuts, the amendment banning gay marriage, and the draft. Then we'll have a civil war.

          • I suggest you check and see what percent of the military is from what portions of the country.

            In the event of a Civil War the military will not remain 100% intact and a portion of current military weapons will fall into the hands of the rebels.
      • There will be no civil war. There isn't enough to be upset about. Give it time, and a draft, and we might have one, god willing.
  • Congratulations (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 03, 2004 @06:16AM (#10708825)
    More than 50% of the American people supports the president who started a war and deceived his people and the world about the prerequisite of that war. Regardless of the outcome of the election, the world will remember the statement you as a country gave to the world today.
    • Re:Congratulations (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      the world will remember the statement you as a country gave to the world today.

      Will the world remember the election as a statement? No, but hell no. My dear, misguided European friend. Let me tell you what the world will really remember in the years to come:
      1. Nuc'lear exchange with DPRK. Oh yea. It's on, baby. I guarantee if DPRK tries out a nuke, there will be a response that levels the country.
      2. Air Strikes on Iranian Nuke Plants. We might let the Israelis handle this. Or we might just do it
      • oh dear. no mod points for this decent gentleman. I wasted my mod points on the third-party candidate. . .
      • WE... HAVE... A... MANDATE... from the US voters to handle those fuckers with extreme prejudice, no matter how unfair it seems.

        Typically, "extreme prejudice" means discriminating the good from the bad, and attacking only the bad. "Extreme prejudice" is very fair, and is generally the only way that the American military does business in urban target areas. Please, sir, be more respectful. Unilateral bashing of other countries and countrymen will do nothing to rid America of its present war problems. Runni

    • Re:Congratulations (Score:3, Interesting)

      by slashdot.org (321932)
      Regardless of the outcome of the election, the world will remember the statement you as a country gave to the world today.

      Nice generalization. Just remember that the people that voted against the incumbent wanted to make a very different statement. Believe you me, it's a very sad day for a lot of US citizens (and residents, like myself)

      And actually, about 50% of the VOTERS support Bush, not 50% of Americans.
    • Dear citizens of the United States of America,

      As a citizen of a very friendly nation, an admirer of your democratic principles and an enthusiast regarding travelling your beautiful country, I'd like to share with you some of my thoughts.

      For starters let me offer you my condolences regarding the loss of sanity of at least 50% of your popular voters.

      Four years ago I was able to comprehend that you chose the Grand Old Partie's nominee. You are after all quite a conservative country and I respect that. And t
      • What you have done, my dear friends, is say to the American Politics: "You can lie. You can go to war. You can smuggle drugs. You can do any of the things that our high standard of moral justly finds reprehensible. And we are never going to hold you accountable as long as you handle politically petty details, such as the right to bear sub-machine guns, the way we like it."

        It's not like that at all.
        It's not that the 50% doesn't care about being lied to. It's that they simply will not accept the truth that
    • Let's take the Republifucks ta town like we did the injuns!

      Trade them some anthrax coated bibles for their computers!

      Lets bomb some limbaughcirclejerks like we did in Irock.

      Lets shag some republican daughters like we did in sunday skool!

      Lets shock and awe the Neo-con dumbasses!

      Save some forest or we burn yo house republifuck!

      Shake hands with a gay guy or we will give it to you up the ass!

      Abort some worthless kid who'll never vote anyway or we'll abort yours!

      Take that ak ta church an show the dumblic
    • The other 50% will put a big Donkey symbol on the roofs of our houses. Promise not to bomb those, okay? We tried. We tried really hard.

      I just guess the other side was more terrified of gay people getting married than our side was of the elitist war-profiteering white collar criminals who are running our country now.
  • Am I the only one that knows not a single person that went to vote under 30 who didn't vote for Kerry? And did anyone else see a fairly lacking percentage of people over 30 at the polls? Has not Kerry been said to completely decimate Bush in the under-30 demographic?

    Makes me wonder how the hell Bush got such a majority. Diebold, possibly. Diebold is, after all, in bed with the Republicans.
    • Makes me wonder how the hell Bush got such a majority.

      It's the terrorists man, they want to see you dead! They're everywhere! And they're going to be around for at least another four years
    • Am I the only one that knows not a single person that went to vote under 30 who didn't vote for Kerry? And did anyone else see a fairly lacking percentage of people over 30 at the polls? Has not Kerry been said to completely decimate Bush in the under-30 demographic?

      I take it you don't live in Georgia, Alabama, South Dakota, Wyoming, Kansas, Texas, or any of the other 30 states that are pro-Bush?
      • Yes, I live in South Dakota, actually. Like I said, I don't know a single person under 30 that voted for Bush.

        Now, keep in mind that SD has a very small youth demographic, because everyone gets the hell out ASAP to a larger city, if they can financially, and a lot of people tend to retire up here because of the cost of living.

        I'm just surprised that states like Florida, Arizona, and the like - all with fairly urban environments (and as is usually the case, mroe young people) - went to Bush. I guess that's
    • Has not Kerry been said to completely decimate Bush in the under-30 demographic?

      While that's true, the problem is that 18-25 age group has piss poor voting record in the past, and it seems that it's also true for this election. While Kerry was courting the younger voters, Bush courted the older voters and it paid off [cbsnews.com] big time.

      The lession learned? The younger crowd bitches and moans the loudest, but they don't walk the talk by voting. In the future, Democrats should stop wasting their time courting the
      • I'm from WV and voted for Bush myself (23 male, recent college grad)--I did really give Kerry serious consideration. I'm not a sheep like some would believe 99% of American citizens are.

        To be honest I didn't really understand the Democratic campaign strategy. Going to Bible Belt areas and talking soft on gay marriage and abortion? Is Kerry on crack or something? Going to WV or the South and talking about gun control? Hello? My God you're professional liars, at least do what you do best at the best mo
    • I'd say that 90% of the people I saw at the polls were 30+. I'm 32.
  • On the subject of VOIP, does anyone know if you can transfer land or cell numbers to VOIP just like you can with cell phones?
  • campaigns & tech (Score:2, Insightful)

    by torrents (827493)
    it's been rather interesting to see the campaigns uses of technology this election... from blogs in the dem primaries to the databases and communication networks that were being used to drive the vote for the election... hopefully now that the people who make up the gov or at least aspire to are beneficiaries of these technologies they will think hard before trying to add useless regulation to them...
  • Kerry Concedes! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by kuwan (443684) on Wednesday November 03, 2004 @12:39PM (#10711082) Homepage
    It's being widely reported by the AP, CNN, Fox News, CSPAN, ABC News, CBS News and others that John Kerry has already called Pres. Bush to concede defeat.

    I personally am glad that Kerry has done this. My opinion of him has gone up and I am glad that he will not try to divide the country further by dragging us through a contested election. Mr. Kerry, thank you for that.

    And congratulations to Pres. Bush.

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