U.S. FCC Chairman Calls on Industry to Join Anti-Spoofing Efforts

As part of its ongoing effort to help stem the growing problem of illegal robocalls, the Chairman of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has called on leading phone industry companies to quickly adopt advanced technologies that can help to facilitate validation of inbound calls and more quickly identify caller ID spoofing activity.

In letters sent in early November to AT&T, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular, Verizon and at least 10 additional companies, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai requested that service providers provide the FCC with their timeline for deployment of the so-called SHAKEN/STIR framework. SHAKEN/STIR (an acronym for Signature-based Handling of Asserted Information Using toKENs (SHAKEN) and the Secure Telephone Identify Revisited (STIR) standards), provides a mechanism to authenticate and verify caller identification for calls carried over an IP network. The SHAKEN/STIR framework is the product of a joint effort between the Commission and several industry task forces, and has been proposed for adoption and deployment in 2019 by the North American Numbering Council (NANC).

The FCC has been vigorously enforcing its regulations against illegal robocalls and spoofing activities, and has issued forfeitures totaling more than $200 million since the beginning of 2017. But Pai believes that adoption of a robust call authentication framework by leading service providers is essential to ending caller ID spoofing.

Read the text of Pai’s letter to one of the service providers (AT&T).

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  1. Mark Luksich

    If the networks verified the originating call number as being valid and correct before completing the connection, then spoofing would not work; but that will require a delay in the connection. If ISP’s were fined for supporting spoofed calls or not validating the number then spoofing would end.

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