While watching a 1968 film, the police are trying to trace the phone call made by the murderer. OK, that was 1968. I see police trying to trace phone calls on cop shows today. Many times, there’s, “We didn’t have enough time” to trace it.
Can’t they trace phone calls easily today?
My assumption that every phone call is traceable even after the call is terminated. With each switching network handled by a computer, every phone office from the caller to the receiver would have logged the exact time of call, which telephone office the call came from, which computer it was routed to, and the desired ultimate destination. Now, it may not be instantaneous, (and it may take a few hours) but my assumption is that the call can be traced back to the originator if the receiver logs the exact time that the call was received. It wouldn’t surprise me that each telephone switching computer retains the last few hours in memory so that the phone company can instantly trace a call.
The only exception would be burner cell phones. Even then, and even without GPS, they would probably be able to pinpoint the location within a mile if the cell phone was within range of two or more towers.
So, is the drama of “Trace this call” on police shows just drams?