With the adoption of two recent orders, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) continues to implement the TRACED Act. In the first of these orders, the FCC established a deadline by which certain voice services provides must adopt and implement the SHAKEN/STIR call authentication framework. In the second of these orders, the FCC established the registration process for an industry “traceback” consortium. These actions build on the FCC’s prior implementation efforts, which we discussed here and here.
The TRACED Act requires the FCC to mandate that voice service providers adopt SHAKEN/STIR or other call authentication frameworks by June 30, 2021. On March 31, 2020, the FCC began implementing this mandate by requiring originating and terminating voice service providers to adopt by SHAKEN/STIR in the Internet Protocol (“IP”) portions of their networks by the statutory deadline of June 30, 2021.
SHAKEN/STIR is a framework of call authentication standards designed to stop caller ID spoofing, which is the practice of obscuring the true origin of a call by using false or inaccurate caller ID information. Currently, this technology is limited to IP-based networks. As a result, the FCC requested comment on the extent to which the TRACED Act’s call-authentication mandate should be applied in the future to non-IP-based voice service providers. In addition, the FCC requested comment on whether the mandate should apply to intermediate voice service providers, and whether to extend the implementation deadline for small or rural voice service providers.
Industry Traceback Consortium
The TRACED Act directs the FCC to facilitate industry’s effort to “trace back” the origin of unlawful robocalls by establishing a consortium that would coordinate these private-led traceback efforts. These efforts are intended to uncover the true origin of unlawful robocalls, the source of which often is masked due to spoofed caller ID information.
To implement this mandate, the FCC will select a single industry traceback consortium, and will review that decision every year. In making its selection and in exercising its overview, the FCC expects the consortium to be a neutral third party, a “competent manager,” to maintain and conform to written best practices, and to focus on fraudulent, abusive, or unlawful calls.
The Enforcement Bureau will issue a public notice by April 28, 2020, establishing a deadline by which entities seeking to act as the consortium must submit a letter of intent, and providing a comment period regarding any such letters of intent. Within 90 days following that deadline, the Enforcement Bureau will select a single consortium.