FCC Accuses Carriers Of Being “Gateways” For Foreign Robocallers

from ars technica

The Federal Communications Commission is asking phone carriers for help blocking robocalls made from outside the US and is implementing a congressionally mandated system to trace the origin of illegal robocalls.

The FCC yesterday sent letters to seven US-based voice providers “that accept foreign call traffic and terminate it to US consumers.” Tracebacks conducted by the USTelecom trade group and the FCC found that each of these companies’ services is “being used as a gateway into the United States for many apparently illegal robocalls that originate overseas,” the FCC’s letters to the companies say.

The FCC letters were sent to All Access Telecom, Globex, Piratel, Talkie, Telcast, ThinQ, and Third Base. These are mainly wholesale voice providers rather than companies that sell phone service directly to home or business customers. For example, All Access Telecom says it provides “wholesale VoIP termination services” to phone providers.

More here.

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3 Comments

  1. I always thought this way of thinking was ‘funny’. For the last two years or so, robocalling as a whole, has definitely become more of a problem, and realistically, there is only so much that wireless providers can do for its customers in order to help prevent the calls.

    The article itself mentions one of the methods that individuals or groups do to complete robocalls – number spoofing. Ultimately, who is in charge of communication as a whole? The telecom companies? No, it’s the FCC. It’s in their name Federal Communications Committee, so is it not in their civic duty to be doing more about this? I’m not entirely certain how long it took Ajit Pai and the rest of the committee to come to a decision, but it was only until June last year that the FCC really did something about it. (https://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/news/2019/06/06/robocall-rule-fcc-phone-companies-block-unwanted-calls/1366898001/) However, this really has not done much as far as fully blocking the calls and we still receive them. So I’m under the impression that is merely the FCC pointing fingers at another party to try and shift the blame. Then again, the more we (society as a whole) sign up for things online, I’m also almost 100% positive that most of these companies sell our information (such as our phone number) to groups that perform these robocalls.

  2. The FCC or the Federal Communication Committee which regulates all forms of communication within the United States, which involves phones, computers, and any other devices that allow for communication. The article outlines how this commission has accused phone carries Globex, Piratel, Telcast etc. of being a “gateway” for international robocalls. Robocalls being the term for any call involving a nonhuman message or prompt that is from an unknown number. Most people know of these are already sick of them, robocalls which always call at very inconvenient times and annoy everyone who receives them. So, the FCC is now asking phone carriers to aid in stopping these robocalls, and they have even implemented a congressionally mandated system to trace the origin of the robocalls. Whose calls have become an issue for social security, as the calls pose as services from banks and others that would require a social security number. Allowing peoples identities to be stolen as well as their money, up to this point a total of $19 million. I think that it is great the FCC is finally taking action against these robocalls but there is the question of whether or not they can actually do anything about it. If phone companies had the ability to stop these calls permanently, I am sure they probably would, or more likely create an extra package for an $10 more a month that blocks these calls. The reason these calls happen in the first place is because of the big companies like Google and such that sell our information to others. These others being companies that target ads and could be used to make these robocalls that attempt to trick us into giving up our information. There is only so much that the phone companies can do regarding this issue, but I think is more up to people. Who need to be more aware of their online presence and stop allowing all of these companies to use and sell their information.

  3. I do believe the Federal Communications Commission is more concerned about these unwanted calls. Illegal and spoofed robocalls are FCC’s top consumer complaints and the top consumer protection priority. The Federal Communication Commission issued hundreds of millions of dollars in enforcement actions against illegal robocalls. I find it amazing how foreign robocallers often pose as American companies, and even the United States government, to deceive and defraud American consumers.” In general, these robocalls will trick most American seniors.
    The Federal Communications Commission is allowing consumer options on tools to block calls from any number that doesn’t appear on a customer’s contact list. There are few tips that Federal Communications Commission, for instance, “If you answer and the caller asks you to press a button to stop receiving calls or asks you to say ‘yes’ in response to a question, hang up. Scammers often use these tricks to identify and then target live respondents, or to use your “yes” to apply unauthorized charges on your bill.”

    https://www.fcc.gov/about-fcc/fcc-initiatives/fccs-push-combat-robocalls-spoofing

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