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FCC Combats Spoofed Telephone Calls

white binary code with red letters spelling out caller ID
Attorney
ESTEE Compliance LLC

1 minute

Comments on agency order and notice of proposed rule due are May 15 and follow-ups May 29.

In an effort to combat “spoofed” telephone calls with falsified caller ID information that are not only a nuisance but resulted in an estimated $10.5 billion in consumer fraud loss in 2019 alone, the Federal Communications Commission issued a Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on March 11, to address spoofed calls. This Order and Further Notice is consistent with the Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence Act

The Order would require voice service providers to implement the STIR/SHAKEN caller ID authentication framework (more on this below) in the internet protocol portions of their respective networks by June 30, 2021. The Further Notice proposes to require voice service providers to implement caller ID authentication pursuant to the TRACED Act enacted into law in December 2019, including a prohibition on charging consumers and small-business customers an additional line item charge for caller ID authentication.  

“STIR” stands for the Secure Telephony Identity Revisited, which is comprised of protocols developed by the Industry Engineering Task Force. “SHAKEN” stands for the Signature-based Handling of Asserted information using toKENs, which standardizes how the STIR protocols are implemented by the telecommunications industry. The STIR/SHAKEN authentication and verification processes are focused on the transmission of encrypted information used to attest to the accuracy of the caller ID information transmitted with a call. 

The proposed STIR/SHAKEN ID authentication strategies are expected to reduce the number of spoofed calls, enable consumers and law enforcement to identify the source of illegal robocalls, and reduce both the number and financial impact of these nuisance calls. 

Comment is requested on the very technical proposal, including the definitions of “small business,” “voice provider,” “intermediate provider,” and the process for authenticating calls from the originating voice service provider, through the intermediate provider(s), to the terminating voice service provider. 

Initial comments are due by May 15, 2020, and reply comments are due by May 29. The reply comment period provides an opportunity to respond to the initial comments from others.

Veronica Madsen is CEO of ESTEE Compliance, LLC in the Detroit area. Please note: The information and opinions provided here are not intended to be legal advice. No attorney-client relationship is formed, nor should any such relationship be implied. Nothing in this content intended to substitute for the advice of an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction.

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