FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has a message for mobile carriers: help stop scam robocallsor face possible action from the commission.

On Monday, Pai sent letters to 14 companies—including AT&T, Sprint and Verizon—that discussed their efforts to detect telephone call spoofing, a tactic scammers use to trick you into answering your phone.

Pai pushed the carriers to quickly adopt an authentication system that can differentiate between legit phone calls and spoofed ones. “I am calling on those falling behind to catch up,” he said in a statement. “If it does not appear that this system is on track to get up and running next year, then we will take action to make sure that it does.”

The authentication system Pai wants is called the “SHAKEN/STIR framework,” an industry-developed standard. With the framework in place, “calls traveling through interconnected phone networks would be ‘signed’ as legitimate by originating carriers and validated by other carriers before reaching consumers,” according to the FCC. As result, consumers would be able see on their phones via the caller ID whether an incoming call was suspicious or not.

A federal advisory committee proposed that the carriers begin deploying the SHAKEN/STIR framework in 2019. However, the FCC is indicating that not every carrier has established a concrete plan to adopt the authentication system.

As a result, Pai sent letters to the 14 companies, effectively demanding that every one of them get on board. His letters specifically ask when the carriers will implement the authentication system, and how they’ll let consumers know when a telephone call is spoofed. Pai also wants to know why some carriers, such as Sprint, Charter, and Frontier, haven’t communicated detailed plans to implement the SHAKEN/STIR framework.

He’s asking the 14 companies to respond by Nov. 19. “Greater participation will ensure the system works for consumers, who expect real progress in combatting malicious spoofing and scam robocalls,” Pai added in his statement.

On Tuesday, the FCC also sent an additional round of letters to smaller network providers, urging them to join an industry-wide effort to trace the culprits behind scam robocalls and elaborate on what steps they’ve taken to stop the annoying threat. The commission notes that it receives more consumer complaints about unwanted calls than any other subject. YouMail, a company that tracks the problem, estimates that over 4.2 billion robocalls were received across the US in August alone.

 

Source: PCMag | By Michael Kan | November 6, 2018 | https://www.pcmag.com/news/364829/fcc-to-carriers-adopt-anti-robocall-system-by-2019-or-else

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