The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is urging the nation’s telecommunications providers to crack down on illegal robocalls.FCC Chairman Ajit Pai sent letters to more than a dozen companies on Monday urging them to adopt frameworks for combatting the illegal practice of “spoofing” — a method commonly used by robocallers to mask the origin of the calls and make it appear as if they’re coming from a number from the same region as the recipient.In his letters to the top executives at companies like AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile, Pai urged them to adopt industry frameworks for call authentication.“Combatting illegal robocalls is our top consumer priority at the FCC,” Pai said in a statement. “That’s why we need call authentication to become a reality—it’s the best way to ensure that consumers can answer their phones with confidence. By this time next year, I expect that consumers will begin to see this on their phones.”The FCC’s top enforcement and technology officials followed up with their own letters to industry leaders on Tuesday, urging them to implement traceback capabilities that will allow them to detect and catch illegal robocallers.Pai’s letters asked the companies to update the commission on the status of their implementation of industry-wide standards for call authentication. He asked for responses by Nov. 19.“Greater participation will ensure the system works for consumers, who expect real progress in combatting malicious spoofing and scam robocalls,” Pai said in his statement. “If it does not appear that this system is on track to get up and running next year, then we will take action to make sure that it does.”
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