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Telephone Calls

December 23, 1993 | From Associated Press
Houston Oiler Jeff Alm made a frantic 911 call to summon help after a car crash, yelling to the operator, "I have a buddy dying!" Seconds later, the operator heard four gunshots as Alm committed suicide. Fire department officials Wednesday released a recording of the call Alm made on his cellular phone shortly after his car crashed into a highway guardrail Dec. 14. His best friend, Sean Lynch, died after being thrown from the car and down an embankment.
March 25, 2014 | By Stuart Pfeifer
Federal prosecutors in Los Angeles dismissed criminal charges against nine people in a $30-million stock-manipulation case after concluding that misstatements in obtaining court approval for key wiretap recordings made the evidence unusable at trial. The dismissals were an embarrassing setback for prosecutors who were bursting with pride last year when they announced the indictments, the result of a three-year investigation. U.S. Atty. Andre Birotte Jr. said investigators had relied heavily on wiretap evidence, which is rarely used in white-collar cases.
The calls come in every 21 seconds, and you're falling behind if you don't answer each one. "Hello, this is Rad, what city?" you, or somebody like you, says 1,100 times a day. You and the other 300 directory assistance operators around you don't have your own desks. It's a different station every day, and even the name you use on the phone is a pseudonym. So you perch photos of your kids on the keyboard in the mornings, then lift them off when you go home. The children are smiling up at you.
September 1, 2013 | By The Times editorial board
After it was revealed that the government was "bulk collecting" Americans' telephone records, President Obama tried to be reassuring. "Nobody is listening to your telephone calls," he said. "They are not looking at people's names, and they're not looking at content. But by sifting through this so-called metadata, they may identify potential leads with respect to folks who might engage in terrorism. " But a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union challenging the phone records program argues persuasively that this supposedly innocuous metadata can disclose as much about the private activities of phone subscribers as would eavesdropping on the contents of conversations.
January 21, 1991
The percentage of phone calls increased sharply in the aftermath of news of the U.S. and Iraqi attacks. On Jan. 16 Calls to Mideast up 40% Domestic calls up 25% On Jan. 17: Calls to Mideast (including calls to Israel) up 3,000% Domestic calls up 20%
February 28, 1989 | RICHARD LEE COLVIN, Times Staff Writer
A persistent obscene telephone caller thought he had an interested listener on the line at 3:15 a.m. Monday when she agreed to meet him at a local Denny's Restaurant. So he called her back. Twice. And he even told her the address of the business where he was making the calls while working as a private security guard, police said. Sgt.
June 4, 1987 | SCOTT HARRIS, Times Staff Writer
Emboldened by a new legal opinion, the Los Angeles City Council, which recently extended a 10% tax on intrastate long-distance telephone calls to include interstate calls, gave preliminary approval Wednesday to expand the levy again to encompass international calls. The council voted 10 to 3 in favor of the tax. A second, final vote is scheduled next Wednesday. The council's action was prompted both by new legal rulings and appeals of phone industry representatives.
October 19, 1988 | ANTHONY PERRY
Suzanne Willert, a 46-year-old interior designer, is not easily frightened, but an early-morning phone call has left her terrified and shaken. A male caller with a deep, authoritative voice reached Willert at her home in La Jolla just as she was getting ready to leave for work. "He said very sternly that if I wanted to ever see Fred alive again, I should do exactly as I'm told," Willert said. "He seemed angry at me. I had no doubt he meant business."
April 10, 1986
A South Bay man who police believe made as many as 1,000 obscene telephone calls to women on the Westside and in the South Bay was sentenced last Friday to six months in County Jail, according to Richard de la Sota, deputy district attorney at Inglewood Municipal Court. David Arthur Cohen, 26, who told victims his name was Tom Springer, was also ordered to pay about $4,000 to the telephone company for the costs of the telephone taps that resulted in his arrest last November, de la Sota said.
A growing number of software companies are trying to take the Internet back to the future by offering a crude form of two-way voice communication on the popular worldwide computer network at a fraction of the cost of a regular long-distance telephone call.
July 26, 2013 | By David Lauter
What do Americans think of government snooping into telephone and Internet data? The answer depends very heavily on precisely what is asked. The Pew Research Center ran an experiment this month to find out how much the wording of questions would affect public attitudes toward the widely discussed data-collection operations of the National Security Agency. Pollsters asked 2,002 American adults a set of questions about the issue, splitting them into several groups, each of which got a slightly different question.
April 12, 2013 | By Stuart Pfeifer, Los Angeles Times
Federal prosecutors say phone and brokerage records show that former KPMG senior auditor Scott London and golfing buddy Bryan Shaw spoke by telephone several times in advance of significant news in companies that were clients of KPMG. After the news broke, Shaw made trades that generated $1.245 million in profits. Here are some examples: Herbalife Ltd. Shaw purchases Herbalife shares and call options (a bet that the stock will rise) after a number of telephone calls with London from March to April 2011.
April 17, 2009 | David Colker
Federal government to DirecTV and Comcast cable: What part of Do Not Call didn't you understand? Satellite television provider DirecTV Inc. agreed to pay $2.31 million to settle charges that it made more than 1 million calls to its customers who had -- as was their right -- placed themselves on a Do Not Call list, the Federal Trade Commission said Thursday. And why did the company make the calls? To ask the customers to remove themselves from the list, the agency said.
December 14, 2008 | David Colker
You have a new weapon against telemarketers. The Federal Trade Commission is now requiring prerecorded telemarketing calls, also known as robocalls, from businesses or charities to include ways to opt out of future calls. You're already supposed to be protected from unsolicited commercial calls if you're on the national Do Not Call registry, but calls from charities and businesses with which you have a relationship are permitted. Under the new rules, a prerecorded message has to give the consumer a way to cut off the business or charity call -- and ban future calls from the same source -- by pressing a number or saying a word.
November 30, 2008 | David Colker
The pitch: "Grandma, I'm in trouble." The scam: It's a pitch designed to tug at the heartstrings of any grandparent who answers the phone. The grandchild is in distress -- stuck in a foreign country, had the car stolen, has a medical emergency, in jail -- and turns to a trusted elder. But according to the Federal Trade Commission, the caller might be a scammer who is not a relative.
October 24, 2008 | Joel Rubin, Rubin is a Times staff writer
Los Angeles Police Chief William J. Bratton waded into the contentious U.S. presidential campaign Thursday, recording an automated telephone message on behalf of Democrat Barack Obama. The message challenged Republican John McCain's "record on policing issues and extolled Obama's," Bratton said in an interview.
August 23, 1994
A 40-year-old Woodland Hills man was sentenced Monday to 16 months in jail for sexually annoying a 14-year-old baby-sitter and for making annoying telephone calls to his former girlfriend. Van Nuys Municipal Court Judge Gregg Marcus sentenced Steven Klein, who pleaded no contest to a single charge of child-annoying in connection with the baby-sitter and four counts of making annoying calls to the former girlfriend.
The news made the front page in Manhattan Beach. Not even the peewee soccer league got better play. The local weekly, the Beach Reporter, announced it was expanding down the coast. To Kevin Cody, it meant just one thing. "The stage has been set for a classic newspaper war," Cody, publisher of the competing Hermosa Beach-based Easy Reader, predicted at the time.
August 20, 2008 | From Bloomberg News
U.S. regulators barred telemarketers from making prerecorded telephone calls to consumers who don't agree in writing to accept such messages. The new rules take effect in September 2009, the Federal Trade Commission said Tuesday. Starting in December this year, prerecorded sales calls must let consumers opt out of receiving the messages in the future. Telemarketers that make charitable fundraising calls on behalf of nonprofit groups also must provide an automated opt-out mechanism.
November 25, 2007 | David Colker, Times Staff Writer
Remember the bad old days of unsolicited, telemarketing calls at home? Jan Book is still living them. "The phone rings and a woman says in a chipper voice, 'Hi, I'm Rachel and I have a wonderful opportunity for you today!' " said Book, who has been getting the recorded calls for the last six months even though she is on the national Do Not Call registry. That registry, which took effect in 2003, bans unsolicited commercial pitches.
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