March 24, 2017–Among the possible “objective criteria” for determining whether a call is likely illegal “to a high degree of certainty” and can be blocked by a provider without violating the FCC’s call completion rules are information obtained through traceback efforts, the FCC said in the text of its notice of proposed rulemaking and notice of inquiry on blocking unlawful robocalls adopted at yesterday’s Commission meeting yesterday (TRDaily, March 23) and released late yesterday. “We ask commenters to submit information on whether some methods more accurately identify illegal calls in comparison to other methods, and whether some methods can identify unwanted calls but are less accurate in identifying illegal calls. Do certain methods work best in combination? Are some methods acceptable when used in the context of an informed consumer choosing to implement call blocking with knowledge of the risks of false positives, but might be less acceptable when used in the context of provider-initiated blocking? What can the Commission do to help providers minimize the possibility for false positives when blocking calls based on such methods?” the FCC asks in the NOI.
“Does provider size, geographic location, or other factors have an impact on which methods provide the most accurate results or which methods are feasible? What can the Commission do to provide support for smaller providers that wish to adopt these methods? Are some methods more likely to result in providers blocking legitimate calls in a manner that might violate the Act or the Commission’s rules or polices related to call completion or that are more likely to contravene the policy goals underlying those rules? Calls that originate domestically may have differences from those which originate internationally, thus requiring consideration of different objective criteria. Are there any differences in how providers do, or should, handle calls originating outside of the United States in comparison to those originating domestically? If so, are there any limitations to a provider’s ability to accurately identify the true origination point of a call?” it also asks.
“The Commission recognizes that standards bodies have made significant progress on Caller ID Authentication Standards. We applaud this progress, and encourage the industry to implement these standards as soon as they are capable of doing so. We seek comment on whether, once there is wide adoption of the protocols and specifications established by the Internet Engineering Task Force’s (IETF) Secure Telephony Identity Revisited (STIR) working group and the Signature-based Handling of Asserted information using toKENs (SHAKEN) framework established in the joint Alliance for Telecommunications and Industry Solutions (ATIS) and Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) forum Network-to-Network Interconnection (NNI) Task Force, providers should then be permitted to block calls for which the Caller ID has not been authenticated,” it adds.
Comments on the NPRM and NOI will be due 45 days after publication of a notice the “Federal Register,” and reply comments will be due 30 days after initial comments are due, according to the text of the 30-page item. —Lynn Stanton, firstname.lastname@example.org