Phone Red Or Yellow? Goodbye, Scammy Fellow

I’m not sure how effective any of this will be since plenty of online spam still makes it through all of our blocking technology and into the hands of people willing to respond to it in volumes large enough for sending it to remain worthwhile, but I’m willing to wait and see. I’ll at least give credit to the CRTC for trying something, because scam calls have gotten seriously out of hand.

I do wonder about the accessibility of the warnings as described, though. Colour coded squares and triangles might be fine for most people, but they aren’t going to do blind dudes like me a whole lot of good. I don’t have gobs of faith that it’s happening, but hopefully somebody involved in this process has come up with a plan for audio describing things in a way that is helpful but not so verbose as to render call display virtually useless. CRTC announces new plan to help prevent nuisance phone calls

After years of complaints from Canadians about fraudulent telephone calls and voicemail spam, the CRTC says it’s stepping up its fight.
Canada’s federal telecom regulator said Monday that telecom companies have until the end of next September to implement a new tool that puts the onus on carriers to recognize suspicious calls amid a scourge of caller ID spoofing that has seen fraudsters pose as Canada Revenue Agency auditors to defraud consumers.
The new technology, called STIR/SHAKEN, is designed to allow service providers to confirm the identities of callers and assure consumers calls are coming from legitimate parties.

Officials say the new system — on top of call blocking technologies already being implemented in Canada — won’t stop all scam calls, but will add a layer of prevention and could be especially effective in flagging illegitimate calls originating from internet-based services such as WhatsApp.

Once the Secure Telephone Identity Revisited/Signature-based Handling of Asserted Information Using Tokens technology is in place, it will allow users to see if the origins of calls they receive have been verified.
The framework does not work on landline phones, although the CRTC says telecoms are also expected to meet a Dec. 19 deadline to implement universal call-blocking. That system prevents internet, mobile and landline calls, but only those that don’t comply with the North American Numbering Plan and may not stop spam calls that come from numbers that appear legitimate.
Canada’s major telecom companies say they are in the process of implementing call-blocking to combat calls from those who can change the information that appears on the caller ID display to misrepresent themselves — a tactic known as “spoofing’ — and are on track to meet the deadline imposed by the CRTC.

A spokesperson for Bell Canada added that the Montreal-based carrier has also applied to the CRTC to conduct a 90-day trial of customized call blocking technology it has developed “to further protect against fraudulent and scam calls.”
Developed by web engineers and pushed by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission, the STIR/SHAKEN framework adds a digital certificate, meaning that calls travelling through interconnected phone networks would have their caller IDs “signed” as legitimate by originating carriers and validated by other carriers before reaching consumers. It has already been adopted in parts of the U.S.
CRTC officials said incoming calls could be labelled with a yellow triangle to indicate that the call is suspicious, or a red square to notify users that the call could be spam, although the commission will work with carriers to determine exactly what call display changes will be adopted.

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2 Comments

  1. Feels possible if the symbols get universal recognition. The red squares could say “spam”, the yellow triangles could say “suspicious number” and hopefully they could read first. If Apple and Google and whatever labeled them like emojis that could take care of it. The shape differences could help out the people with red green colourblindness if they heard about what they meant. Hmmm cool.

    1. I think you’re right, I just don’t know if Apple/Google/whoever would bother right away since it isn’t adopted far and wide. I feel like to start out with it might have to be handled by the providers implementing it, and those companies aren’t always the best at access.

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