Robocalls, those automated phone calls that often come from telemarketers or scammers, have become a major nuisance for many Americans. In an effort to combat this problem, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has recently come to an agreement with major telecommunications companies to combat robocalls.
The agreement, which was announced in June 2019, is known as the “STIR/SHAKEN” protocol. STIR stands for Secure Telephone Identity Revisited, and SHAKEN stands for Signature-based Handling of Asserted Information Using toKENs. Essentially, this protocol will allow phone companies to verify that calls are coming from legitimate sources, rather than from spoofed or fake phone numbers.
The goal of the STIR/SHAKEN protocol is to increase trust in the phone system and reduce the number of unwanted robocalls that Americans receive. According to the FCC, Americans received more than 48 billion robocalls in 2018 alone, and the problem has only been getting worse in recent years.
Under the terms of the agreement, major telecommunications companies such as AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile have pledged to implement the STIR/SHAKEN protocol by the end of 2019. This means that they will begin verifying calls made between their networks, which will help to reduce the number of fake or spoofed calls that are made.
In addition to this agreement with phone companies, the FCC has also been taking action to crack down on illegal robocalls. The commission has been issuing fines to companies that violate the law, and it has also been encouraging phone companies to offer call-blocking services to their customers.
So what does all of this mean for consumers? Hopefully, it will mean fewer unwanted and annoying robocalls. Of course, it`s important to remember that not all robocalls are illegal or unwanted – some may be from legitimate businesses or organizations that you have given permission to contact you. However, if you do receive a robocall that you believe is illegal or fraudulent, you can report it to the FCC or the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
While the STIR/SHAKEN protocol is not a silver bullet that will completely eliminate the problem of robocalls, it is a step in the right direction. By working together with phone companies and government agencies, we may be able to finally put an end to this annoying and persistent problem.