Caller ID Authentication Standard Is Now Used By the Largest Voice Service Providers, Helping Protect Consumers Against Spoofed Robocalls

WASHINGTON, D.C. —FCC Acting Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel today announced that the largest voice service providers are now using STIR/SHAKEN caller ID authentication standards in their IP networks, in accordance with the deadline set by the FCC.

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This widespread implementation helps protect consumers against malicious spoofed robocalls and helps law enforcement track bad actors. The STIR/SHAKEN standards serve as a common digital language used by phone networks, allowing valid information to pass from provider to provider which, among other things, informs blocking tools of possible suspicious calls.

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“At last, STIR/SHAKEN standards are a widely used reality in American phone networks,” said Rosenworcel. “While there is no silver bullet in the endless fight against scammers, STIR/SHAKEN will turbo-charge many of the tools we use in our fight against robocalls: from consumer apps and network-level blocking, to enforcement investigations and shutting down the gateways used by international robocall campaigns. This is a good day for American consumers who – like all of us – are sick and tired of illegal spoofed robocalls.”

Implementation of caller ID authentication technology using the STIR/SHAKEN standards will reduce the effectiveness of illegal spoofing, allow law enforcement to identify bad actors more easily, and help voice service providers identify calls with illegally spoofed caller ID information before those calls reach their subscribers. The FCC set a deadline for large voice service providers to implement STIR/SHAKEN by June 30, 2021 in the IP portions of their networks. The Commission also granted small voice service providers with 100,000 or fewer subscriber lines an extension until June 30, 2023 but is formally considering shortening that extension for a subset of these providers in light of new evidence indicating that they are originating a high and increasing quantity of illegal robocalls.

In April, the FCC launched the Robocall Mitigation Database in which voice service providers must now file certifications to inform the agency of their robocall mitigation efforts, including their STIR/SHAKEN implementation status. Beginning on September 28, 2021, if a voice service provider’s certification does not appear in the database, intermediate and voice service providers will be prohibited from directly accepting the provider’s traffic. To date, over 1,500 voice service providers have filed in the database. Over 200 voice service providers have certified to full STIR/SHAKEN implementation and hundreds more have certified to partial implementation—generally certifying to full implementation on the IP portions of their networks. Those certifying to anything short of full STIR/SHAKEN implementation must describe the new steps they are taking to ensure they are not the source of illegal robocalls.

While STIR/SHAKEN will improve the quality of caller ID information, it does not mean the call itself is legitimate. This improved information will help verify the phone number from which the call was made – or flag that it is not verified – and help blocking services both at the consumer level and before the call reaches the consumer. But consumers should remain vigilant against robocall scammers. The FCC is committed to continuing to fight against malicious spoofing and scam robocalls.

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