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

Social media a blessing and a curse during time of crisis: B.C. communication expert

‘In moments of crisis, fear is very real and palpable,’ says SFU’s Peter Chow-White

B.C. COVID-19 contact restrictions working, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

’Not out of the woods yet’ as next two weeks are critical

UPDATED: Some states of local emergency suspended by ministerial order

Suspension applies to regional districts but not First Nations

A letter from Bella Coola doctors on COVID-19: ‘All our lives depend on your actions now’

“None of us are invincible; we can all get it and spread it without even knowing.”

COVID-19: Bella Coola RCMP close detachment front door access

The public is being asked to call 250 799 5363 for assistance

B.C. records first at-home death from COVID-19, but 70+ hospital patients have recovered

Total of 970 novel coronavirus cases in B.C., with the majority in the Lower Mainland area

BC Ferries able to restrict travel for sick passengers

Ferries working on schedule shifts to keep workers safe

Canada expands 75% wage subsidy to COVID-19 affected businesses of all sizes: Trudeau

Program will provide up to $847 per week for each worker

Pay parking suspended at B.C. hospitals due to COVID-19

Temporary free parking reduces need for keypads, contact

Helping those at risk, one piece of paper at a time through ‘isolation communication’

Simple paper tool during pandemic making its way across Canada thanks to social media.

‘Back to school, in a virtual way’ for B.C. students in COVID-19 pandemic

Province adds online resources to help parents at home

Canadian COVID-19 round-up: Air Canada cuts 15,000 jobs, 90% of flights

Comprehensive Canadian news update as of 2:30 p.m., Monday, March 30.

Canadian ferry operators call for inclusion in COVID-19 travel restrictions

Domestic travel restrictions should include ferries, operators say

Most Read