Phone companies must block calls with 'blatantly illegitimate' info, says CRTC

Phone companies are getting one year to implement newly-mandated call blocking measures meant to filter out nuisance calls and scammers.

CRTC calls for universal network-level call blocking, with 1-year deadline

Phone companies will have a Dec. 19, 2019 deadline to introduce call blocking or call filtering system that will meet a new CRTC regulation. (Associated Press)

Phone companies are getting one year to implement newly-mandated call blocking measures meant to filter out nuisance calls and scammers. 

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) says universal network-level call blocking is the most effective and efficient way to weed out people who are using "blatantly illegitimate" caller ID or spoofing.  

A group of providers including Bell Canada, Microsoft and SaskTel provided feedback to the CRTC stating call filtering or caller ID authentication might be more effective solution. Several telecoms expressed concerns about technical challenges to call blocking, about scammers moving to other, harder-to-detect measures and the potential that phone providers might block legitimate calls people actually wanted to receive.

In response, the CRTC says it is laying out "a multi-pronged approach to fight nuisance calls," starting with the universal network-level call blocking. It says other countries, including the United Kingdom, have already introduced this requirement to block calls that have invalid identification data.

In response to a request for information, SaskTel said it is working to put into place a call filtering service and will have a call blocking or filtering system in place to meet the new requirements, by the CRTC's Dec. 19, 2019 deadline.

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