Canadian Telcos Debut Caller ID Tech to Fight Spoofing Calls: CRTC

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) announced on Tuesday the new Secure Telephony Identity Revisited (STIR)/Signature-based Handling of Asserted information using toKENs (SHAKEN) technology has been implemented by Canadian telcos.

The new caller ID tech will now be able to identify callers from internet protocol (IP) voice calls, a source of spam calls that typically leverage spoofing, or pretending to be someone else.

“This new caller ID technology will empower Canadians to determine which calls are legitimate and worth answering, and which need to be treated with caution. As more providers upgrade their networks, STIR/SHAKEN will undoubtedly reduce spoofing and help Canadians regain peace of mind when answering phone calls,” said Ian Scott, Chairperson and CEO, CRTC, in a statement.

The CRTC says it recently approved a trial for Bell Canada to use artificial intelligence for call blocking, with the tech created by the latter blocking over 1.1 billion calls from July 2020 to October 2021.

The Commission says it is also “working with the industry to develop a process to trace nuisance calls back to their points of origin.”

Here’s one explanation of how STIR/SHAKEN works by Bandwidth.com:

Last spring, Canada’s ‘Big 3’ telcos asked the CRTC to delay implementation of STIR/SHAKEN until the summer of 2022, citing costs associated with upgrading landlines and cellphone hardware to support the technology. In April of this year, the CRTC ordered STIR/SHAKEN to be implemented by today, as a condition of being able to provide telecommunications services in Canada.

It remains to be seen how well STIR/SHAKEN will work. In the meantime, I’m not answering any phone calls as I’ve won more than enough trips to Mexico (don’t call me unless you’re on fire).