The Federal Communications Commission of the United States received vague unsubscribes and spam from 20 telecommunications operators at an official request

The Federal Communications Commission of the United States received vague unsubscribes and spam from 20 telecommunications operators at an official request

Instead of concrete plans to reduce robocalls, the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) received, in response to a formal request from 20 carriers, vague unsubscribes and just plain weird stuff, including blank letters, scans of test pages, and unclear, off-topic or even random data. The regulator threatened these companies with blocking their services for such unsubscribes.

According to the FCC’s explanation, U.S. and foreign voice service providers that submitted the required plans to “mitigate and neutralize robocalls” to the agency about two years ago sent a lot of spam and junk documents, including:

  • PNG format files with images of unclear objects;

  • printouts with a test page of the printer in Windows;

  • unclear document scans or strange images;

  • various advertising brochures;

  • a screenshot of the taxpayer’s profile on the Pakistan e-Government website;

  • a piece of paper that said: “Unfortunately, we do not have such documents.”

The FCC analyzed this data and considered this attitude towards the regulator inappropriate. The agency warned the communication operators who sent the unsubscribes that they have 14 days to correct the situation. Otherwise, the FCC will remove them from the database of companies that fight robocalls. This will effectively mean the termination of these companies from the American market.

In late 2021, the FCC decided to reduce the number of unwanted robocalls by introducing Caller ID authentication technology. To do this, the FCC required telephone companies that accept calls from outside the US to implement the STIR (Secure Telephone Identity Revisited) and SHAKEN (Signature-based Handling of Asserted Information Using toKENs) protocols, which work using digital certificates based on cryptography with public key

Telephone companies in the US must identify the caller using protocols and block incoming robocalls from abroad. The rules prohibit phone companies from accepting calls from providers that have not implemented STIR/SHAKEN deployment requirements or other methods to block robocalls.

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