Shaken and Stirred – FCC Chairman Demands Industry Help in Robocall Fight

Ajit Pai, FCC Commisioner

(Photo: Gage Skidmore)

Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai announced today that he expects major phone companies to implement the Signature-based Handling of Asserted Information Using Tokens and Secure Telephony Identity Revisited standards this year. The standards, known as SHAKEN/STIR, are caller ID authentication standards which will help combat robocalls.

“Consumers want and need reliable caller ID information. That’s why we must move aggressively to combat spoofed robocalls,” said Pai in a statement. “I’ve repeatedly demanded that major voice service providers implement a strong call authentication framework this year. I want to hear from them on the progress they’ve made toward meeting this goal. We chose this industry-led path because it is the fastest way to help consumers, but I remain committed to taking regulatory action – action for which we’ve already laid the groundwork – if major carriers do not implement the SHAKEN/STIR framework this year.”

The FCC said that trust will be possible when “phone companies adopt matching standards for how calls are signed as legitimate and how that authentication signature is reliably passed along from carrier to carrier until it gets to the consumer, who will be able to know such a call is likely authentic.”

While the FCC has chosen to pursue an industry-led path for SHAKEN/STIR adoption, the Commission noted that it is laying the groundwork through its formal Notice of Inquiry adopted in July 2017 for potential regulations if the industry fails to implement the standards in a timely manner.

Pai also announced that he will host a summit on July 11 to “examine industry’s progress toward meeting this deadline.” The summit will also identify any technical hurdles related to the deployment of the SHAKEN/STIR framework, the FCC said in a statement.

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