FCC Affirms Robocall Blocking By Default to Protect Consumers [telecom]

Have a question or want to start a discussion? Post it! No Registration Necessary.  Now with pictures!

Threaded View
Please send posts to telecom-digest.org, with userid set to
telecomdigestsubmissions, or via Usenet to comp.dcom.telecom

The Telecom Digest is made possible by generous supporters like the
Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) at

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


Media Contact:
Will Wiquist, (202) 418-0509

For Immediate Release


Commission Also Seeks Comment on Requiring Caller ID Authentication
Implementation & Use of Authentication Standards for Blocking

WASHINGTON, June 6, 2019 - The Federal Communications Commission today voted
to make clear that voice service providers may aggressively block unwanted
robocalls before they reach consumers.

Specifically, the Commission approved a Declaratory Ruling to affirm that
voice service providers may, as the default, block unwanted calls based on
reasonable call analytics, as long as their customers are informed and have
the opportunity to opt out of the blocking.  This action empowers providers to
protect their customers from unwanted robocalls before those calls even reach
the customers' phones.  While many phone companies now offer their customers
call blocking tools on an opt-in basis, the Declaratory Ruling clarifies that
they can provide them as the default, thus allowing them to protect more
consumers from unwanted robocalls and making it more cost-effective to
implement call blocking programs.

The ruling also clarifies that providers may offer their customers the choice
to opt-in to tools that block calls from any number that does not appear on a
customer's contact list or other "white lists."  This option would allow
consumers to decide directly whose calls they are willing to receive.
Consumer white lists could be based on the customer's own contact list,
updated automatically as consumers add and remove contacts from their

The Commission also adopted a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that proposes
requiring voice service providers to implement the SHAKEN/STIR caller ID
authentication framework, if major voice service providers fail to do so by
the end of this year.  It also seeks comment on whether the Commission should
create a safe harbor for providers that block calls that are maliciously
spoofed so that caller ID cannot be authenticated and that block calls that
are "unsigned."

With adoption of this item, the Commission continues its multi-pronged
strategy to combat unwanted and illegal robocalls.  The Declaratory Ruling
will go into effect upon release of the item on FCC.gov.  The deadline for
submitting comments in response to the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking will be
established upon publication in the Federal Register.

Action by the Commission June 6, 2019 by Declaratory Ruling and Third Further
Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FCC 19-51).  Chairman Pai, Commissioners Carr
and Starks approving.  Commissioners O'Rielly and Rosenworcel approving in
part and dissenting in part.  Chairman Pai, Commissioners O'Rielly, Carr,
Rosenworcel, and Starks issuing separate statements.

CG Docket No. 17-59; WC Docket 17-97


Media Relations: (202) 418-0500 / ASL: (844) 432-2275 / TTY: (888) 835-5322 /
Twitter: @FCC / www.fcc.gov

This is an unofficial announcement of Commission action.  Release of the full
text of a Commission order constitutes official action.  See MCI v. FCC, 515
F.2d 385 (D.C. Cir. 1974).

Re: FCC Affirms Robocall Blocking By Default to Protect Consumers [telecom]
Please send posts to telecom-digest.org, with userid set to
telecomdigestsubmissions, or via Usenet to comp.dcom.telecom

The Telecom Digest is made possible by generous supporters like John

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Quoted text here. Click to load it

Oh, I can't resist:

But seriously: sadly, STIR won't work. Some years ago, I was
interviewed by the FTC (along with other Digest readers) while they
were trying to figure out how to stop caller ID spoofing. I told them
that they can't stop it: that, like spam, spoofing is a problem caused
by the design of the system. SS7 was designed when AT&T and the "Baby
Bells" were still a monopoly, and the architechture of the phone
network was based on the asumption that nobody would break the rules
for commercial gain - in other words, that every CLEC or every PBX
that connects through a CLEC would always obey the pronouncements
brought down from the mountain and written in stone as interconnect

But, many of the CLEC's are one step away from bankruptcy, and they
will take any traffic that they can get, even if it's delivered by an
Ethernet cable strung across a ceiling between two separate companies
that happen to be located in the same building. Like the Internet with
spam or Ma Bell with Blue/Black/Red Box fraud, it's a system set up to
fail, not through malice but due to an engineering world-view which
could not anticipate bad actors.

Consider this explanation of STIR/SHAKEN: the "Partial Attestation"
option has holes in it big enough to pass a stretch limousine.


Predictions-for-the-future-department (you heard it here first) -
CO-based answering machines will be replaced by customer-owned apps or
hardware devices which demand a security key before allowing any
caller to bother the called party. The phone network will then have
end-to-end security against fraudulent caller ID which doesn't require
that users trust third parties.

Bill Horne
(Remove QRM from my email address to write to me directly)

Copyright (C) 2019 E.W. Horne. All Rights Reserved.

Site Timeline