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FCC chairman threatens 'regulatory intervention' if telecoms don't combat robocalls by...

By Cal Jeffrey · 13 replies
Feb 13, 2019
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  1. This is not the first time Pai has gotten on Big Telecom to take care of the growing problem of robocalls. Back in November 2018, the FCC Chair sent letters to several providers asking that they implement a caller authentication system to combat call spoofing. He said they had until the end of the year to come up with something or the FCC would take action.

    He didn’t get the reaction he had hoped for since no carriers have implemented any measures and have only offered up excuses as to why they haven’t. Most claim they need more time than they were allowed. Granted a couple of months is not much time to develop and deploy such a system. AT&T, for example, says it won’t be able to implement measures until 2020.

    Pai issued his response to the excuses in an official FCC statement today along with another threat. Companies now have until the end of 2019 to set in place a “robust caller ID authentication” protocol or face FCC intervention.

    “American consumers are sick and tired of unwanted robocalls, this consumer among them,” Pai complained. “Caller ID authentication will be a significant step towards ending the scourge of spoofed robocalls. It's time for carriers to implement robust caller ID authentication.”

    "Calls traveling through interconnected phone networks would have their caller ID 'signed' as legitimate by originating carriers and validated by other carriers before reaching consumers."

    The FCC said it was prepared to “consider regulatory intervention if necessary.” This intervention is likely to take shape as fines against carriers. The Verge notes, Congress has already introduced legislation that would allow the FCC to impose higher punishments against robocallers. However, even if passed, it is sometimes hard to enforce such fines against fly-by-night companies that reside overseas.

    Addressing the problem at the provider level seems more practical and certainly has more teeth when violations occur. The solution suggested by the FCC is an authentication framework that it calls SHAKEN/STIR, which stands for Signature-based Handling of Asserted Information Using toKENs (SHAKEN) and the Secure Telephone Identity Revisited (STIR) standards.

    SHAKEN/STIR, in a nutshell, authenticates telephone numbers as calls pass through different networks. This validation presumably eliminates the ability for a company to assign a different originating phone number as the call is transferred between carriers before reaching the customer.

    As mentioned, AT&T says it will need until 2020 to implement such a system. Pai says it and others have precisely until 2020 to launch the solution. We’ll have to see where this goes come this time next year.

    Permalink to story.

  2. Cycloid Torus

    Cycloid Torus Stone age computing - click on the rock below.. Posts: 3,921   +1,157

  3. seeprime

    seeprime TS Guru Posts: 371   +399

    Even though he's trying to finally do something worthwhile, I suspect it's because he and his buddies are getting a lot of robocalls. Otherwise, he'd just laugh at us pions.
  4. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 5,144   +3,565

    Or more than likely, the robo-callers are refusing to cough up a "tribute" to him so he's going after them ......
  5. Lew Zealand

    Lew Zealand TS Guru Posts: 511   +389

    2020? What a coincidence. The very year he and his crew will replaced by more qualified individuals.
  6. PEnnn

    PEnnn TS Enthusiast Posts: 57   +55

    So, the imbecile who screwed the public by removing net-neutrality wants to protect the same public against robocalls??
    Yeah, sounds so sincere.
    psycros likes this.
  7. toooooot

    toooooot TS Evangelist Posts: 716   +339

    What's said here is right. My only question is, why is the photo of this mistake brought to life has to be on every news reagarding fcc?
  8. psycros

    psycros TS Evangelist Posts: 2,619   +2,353

    Because its a story about the FCC chairman. And also to remind us that most government officials are complete sell-outs to special interests.
    robb213 and Lionvibez like this.
  9. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 3,701   +2,070

    Regulatory intervention. Hmm... I wonder if that means he will be dispensing prunes to all offenders? :laughing:
    Cal Jeffrey likes this.
  10. SirDigby

    SirDigby TS Evangelist Posts: 475   +144

    This absolutely wont work without IEEE creating a firm RFC implementation for VoIP calls - I don't know how much of the USA's infrastructure is digital but most of the UK's is, last bit to go is consumer home lines (due to be digital by 2025).
    Local Telecoms Regulators can host a database of number assignments and provide authentication tokens but even they can probably be spoofed. I'm not a network architect though so IDK exactly how they'd do it.
  11. avioza

    avioza TS Addict Posts: 198   +148

    Obfuscation of larger issues at hand. Large interest groups want to change public opinion of him or at least have something to reference that is on the public consciousness they can credit his tenure with.
    wiyosaya likes this.
  12. ckm88

    ckm88 TS Booster Posts: 85   +53

    Oh really? he's trying to be a hero now? pfft.
  13. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 3,701   +2,070

    IMO, in general, US politicians are exceptionally adept at doing nothing while making it look like they are doing something. To me, that is especially true for at least the last 8-years.

    Maybe some day, we will get back to having government that does something meaningful however unlikely that seems to be ATM.
  14. treetops

    treetops TS Evangelist Posts: 2,433   +458

    Does anyone even have any idea of how to stop robo calls\spoofed scam calls? I read an article\ saw a video of a cop being called at a police station by a spoofed scammer. Nowhere did it indicate the police had anyway of actually catching them.

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