Black Press Media files

Canada’s ‘universal call blocking’ system seen as partial answer to big nuisance

CRTC estimates 40 per cent of complaints about unwanted calls involve caller-ID spoofin

Thursday marks the official arrival of a system to block some types of nuisance calls, although even its supporters have said it offers only a partial solution to a complex problem facing Canadians.

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission has said it receives 80,000 to 90,000 complaints annually about unwanted phone calls.

It gave carriers until Dec. 19 to put in place “universal call blocking” or an equivalent system at the network level to stop blatantly spoofed numbers such as 000-000-0000.

But the CRTC estimates 40 per cent of complaints about unwanted calls involve caller-ID spoofing, some of which will evade universal call blocking by using more sophisticated tricks to pretend to be from legitimate callers.

One well-known scam, for instance, uses apparently legitimate phone numbers to make threatening calls supposedly from police or tax officials.

Among other things, the CRTC wants carriers to put in place a system for tracing the origin of spam calls — and has given them until March 2020 to present a report of the traceback system.

The regulator also wants Canadian carriers to adopt a new framework used in parts of the United States, known by the acronym STIR/SHAKEN, to let customers with mobile or Internet Protocol phones gauge the trustworthiness of calls.

The CRTC has set Sept. 30, 2020, as its target for having STIR/SHAKEN in place.

In the meantime, the regulator urges consumers to file complaints to Canada’s do not call list at lnnte-dncl.gc.ca or 1-866-580-DNCL (3625) or 1-888-DNCL-TTY (362-5889) for the hearing impaired.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Sonia Furstenau column: Proud of moving forward important issues over the last year

During the announcement, I reflected on the role my office played

Drivesmart column: The difficulty with stop signs

One wouldn’t think that stopping at a stop sign would be such a problem for drivers.

Duncan Christian hoops teams back in action with a busy month

Senior boys and girls play league and tournament games

Robert Barron column: Immigrants in the Cowichan Valley are an asset

If they are successful, the family would be a great addition to the Valley

Cowichan Coffee Time: Cheque presentations and a new president

• South Cowichan Healthcare Auxiliary presented a cheque in the amount of… Continue reading

Officials reaching out to those in contact with Canada’s first coronavirus patient

The illness has sickened at least 1,975 people and killed 56 in China

Canada’s basketball community mourns Kobe Bryant after helicopter crash

Bryant was an 18-time NBA all-star who won five championships

‘Devastated’: Fans, celebrities remember Kobe Bryant after his death

Bryant played all of his 20-year career with the NBA with the Los Angeles Lakers

Investigation launched after six dead puppies dumped in Richmond hotel parking lot

RAPS reminds people they can always give up puppies they can’t take care of

Canadian Lunar New Year celebrations dampened by coronavirus worries

But Health Minister Patty Hajdu said today that the risk of infection is low

B.C. VIEWS: New coronavirus outbreak an important reminder

Walking the line between cautious and alarmist

Kobe Bryant, daughter killed in California helicopter crash

Bryant entered the NBA draft straight out of high school in 1996

Risk of coronavirus low in B.C. as first case emerges in Toronto: officials

There have been no confirmed cases of the virus in B.C.

Most Read