CRTC holds meeting with five countries to fight scam calls

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) have held a meeting with regulators from Canada, Australia, Ireland, Hong Kong, and the U.S. to discuss better ways to block spam calls.

This meeting was a prelude to the International Regulators Forum and International Institute of Communications’ Annual Conference, held in Ottawa from Nov. 1-4, 2022.

“Unlawful spam and unwanted calls continue to be major threats to consumers around the globe,” said Ian Scott, chairperson of the CRTC, in the press release. “Coordinating our efforts internationally is the only way we can tackle this issue. By doing so, we are increasing our chances of protecting our citizens from those engaging in illegal and damaging activities.”

Scam calls are still a major scourge in telecommunication. According to telecom branding service First Orion, global volume of scam calls rose by 118 per cent in 2021 to 110 billion, leading to 88 million victims and US$44.2 billion in losses.

To reduce its impact, regulators have enacted tougher crackdowns on illegal call centres, and have implemented new technologies. The U.S., now the biggest target of robocalls, with more than 4 billion received per month, has established a Robocall Response team. The task force is led by FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel, and comprises a team of engineers, policymakers, and lawyers.

In Canada, the CRTC has required all major telecommunications service providers to implement a new caller ID authentication technology called STIR/SHAKEN. The system is used to authenticate the identity of a caller in an attempt to thwart spoofed calls, or calls that pretend to be placed by a legitimate organization. Unfortunately, the current implementation of STIR/SHAKEN only works with calls placed over IP networks and not older technologies.

Canada also has enforced the Canadian Anti-Spam Law (CASL) against several high-volume spam campaigns.

Related: SHAKE them and STIR them: how Canada is fighting scam calls

The meeting between the five countries is a part of a broader collaboration called the Unsolicited Communications Enforcement Network (UCENet), through which global regulatory agencies from 26 countries share their knowledge to address spam-related problems.

The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre offers ways to report scams and fraud through its website, or by phone at 1-888-495-8501. Spam can be reported through the CASL knowledge centre.

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Tom Li
Tom Li
Telecommunication and consumer hardware are Tom's main beats at IT World Canada. He loves to talk about Canada's network infrastructure, semiconductor products, and of course, anything hot and new in the consumer technology space. You'll also occasionally see his name appended to articles on cloud, security, and SaaS-related news. If you're ever up for a lengthy discussion about the nuances of each of the above sectors or have an upcoming product that people will love, feel free to drop him a line at [email protected].

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