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Apple to Join 'Robocall Strike Force' to Crack Down on Automated Phone Calls

Wall-EApple, AT&T, Google, and 30 other companies will join efforts with the U.S. Federal Communications Commission this year to crack down on automated phone calls, otherwise known as "robocalls," according to Reuters.
AT&T chairman and CEO Randall Stephenson will make the announcement at the first "Robocall Strike Force" meeting at the FCC later on Friday, the company said.
The so-called "Robocall Strike Force" will provide the FCC with "concrete plans to accelerate the development and adoption of new tools and solutions" to crack down on automated phone calls by October 19, the report claims.

Last month, the FCC sent a letter to phone companies and intermediaries, presumably including Apple, expressing how robocalls and telemarketing calls are the number one source of consumer complaints it receives. FCC chairman Tom Wheeler urged the companies to respond within 30 days with concrete, actionable solutions to tackle the problem, and AT&T was quick to agree that action is needed.
AT&T is prepared to take a leadership position in the industry in the development of comprehensive solutions. We currently allow many of our customers to block calls using black-listing software like Nomorobo and we are committed to providing our customers with the best blocking tools available for use with their knowledge and consent. […]

For these reasons, and at the request of Chairman Wheeler, Mr. Stephenson has agreed to chair a new Robocalling Strike Force, the mission of which will be to accelerate the development and adoption of new tools and solutions to abate the proliferation of robocalls and to make recommendations to the FCC on the role government can play in this battle.
The U.S. has some protective measures in place to prevent automated phone calls. The FCC, for example, requires private companies to have prior consent to robocall or robotext mobile phones. Americans can also add their phone numbers to the FTC's Do Not Call list to prevent legitimate telemarketers from calling. Last, the FCC expects carriers to respond to consumer requests to block robocalls.

The strike force will push for further solutions, such as developing secure Caller-ID authentication technology, supporting the Anti-Spoofing Act of 2015 in U.S Congress, and implementing new technologies to identify and block robocalls. Apple's involvement in the strike force remains unclear, but iOS 10 will include at least one combative measure: a new caller ID extension for spam alerts.

Tags: FCC, AT&T

Top Rated Comments

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39 months ago
I don't see why Wall-e, who is by all accounts a kind and generous robot, need be dragged into this.
Rating: 28 Votes
39 months ago
Start by giving me a way to filter 'no caller ID' calls, just a simple option that diverts the caller to a "This person has chosen not to receive cals from withheld numbers" message, or something along those lines. Or allow me to block no caller ID.

I just don't want to bother with people who don't want me to know who they are.
Rating: 24 Votes
39 months ago
LOL, knowing how ATT operates, they are probably the ones planting the robocalls. Now they will try and sell you a $5 a month app to "block" these calls. :D

Also, why use a picture of lovable Wally!? He's a Disney icon and one of my favorite Disney characters. :oops:
Rating: 20 Votes
39 months ago

Hello. This is IRS. This is your final notice before the IRS will arrest you for tax fraud. Call back at 555-555-5555 to settle your issues with IRS.

I'd love for these calls to stop. I just got three yesterday alone!
Rating: 19 Votes
39 months ago

Americans can also add their phone numbers to the FTC's Do Not Call list to prevent legitimate telemarketers from calling.

The Do Not Call list is the most epic of epic fails. Hopefully, this new strike force will do better (they really can't do any worse).
Rating: 14 Votes
39 months ago

They spoof phone numbers a lot, so that's less effective than you think.

This bigtime. I get a ton of spam calls from local cellphone numbers. You can even ignore the call and then call the number back to get a random person in your area on their cell phone that has no idea what you're yelling at them about.
Rating: 11 Votes
39 months ago

I use truecaller a crowd sourced listing of spam phone numbers. When a call comes in it flags if it is spam. I also share spam call numbers with the app.

They spoof phone numbers a lot, so that's less effective than you think.
Rating: 10 Votes
39 months ago
It has gotten so bad that we disconnect our land line (part of a cable bundle so it would cost more to eliminate it!) and tell family and friends to call on our cell phones. I have gotten as many as 8 robo calls in a day. Each one is reported to the Do Not Call website, but, of course, that is meaningless.
Rating: 10 Votes
39 months ago
What I would like - and I believe that it's rather simple - is forCaller ID to be no longer spoofable. Here's how ...

All calls on the regular phone system enter through some carrier or other. AT&T, Verizon and many others. And spoofing happens when the call-setup from a PBX contains info that does not match the actual line being used. But the phone companies know what the correct data is - this is how they do caller-ID for your regular single phone line.

The fix is for the phone companies to check the data to make sure it matches. For a line in a trunk group, it has to match the number of one of the lines, and it doesn't matter which one. If the data doesn't match, then the phone company substitutes the primary group number and doesn't let the bad data go through.

This way, robocallers will no longer be anonymous and complaints to FTC/FCC can get them shut down.

Note that will work even for VoIP and similar calls that start overseas because these calls have to enter the US phone system using a US phone company somewhere, somehow.
Rating: 9 Votes
39 months ago
The biggest problem I see, as these companies doing the ROBOCALLING are using NON-EXISTING NUMBERS and Different Numbers every time they call people. I am bothered by this one company on a weekly bases (Consumer Credit Card Relief), each time they robo call me, it's a different number and when you call the number back, I get "this number is not valid" recording. I have asked them repeatedly to stop calling me, but they still call me back. My number is on the FTC's DONOTCALL List and has been for years, yet I still get robo calls all the time. I have submitted complaint after complaint to the FTC, yet nothing changes, I still to this day, get robo called all the time. I have started adding there numbers to a contact in my iPhone and I have these numbers blocked, but they just use a different number to call me, so I am still bothered by them.

Another issue is, when you give your number away when buy a car, a home, credit card, etc, they share that number and from what I understand, is automatic consent to robo calls from them. I can't tell you how many times I get a call from a Car Warranty company about buying a warranty for my car. I have asked them repeatedly to take me off their list and also told them I have a warranty already. Still, a month will go by and they call.

The only fix I can see, is to NOT have a PHONE at all. Send me mail, It just go from the mailbox to the fire pit in my back yard, I don't even have to read it to know it's SPAM.
Rating: 8 Votes

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