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

CHARTS: Home-building down in 2019 in Abbotsford, but still historically high

2019 saw construction wrap up on 1,000 homes, the second-highest total on record

Suspected car thief beanbagged by Abbotsford police for resisting arrest

‘It doesn’t break the skin usually, but it hurts so much you might as well be shot’

5 to 10 cm of snow still coming to Fraser Valley: Environment Canada

Hard to say when the freezing rain will turn to regular rainfall, Environment Canada says

Abbotsford bank ATM robbery thwarted by woman standing her ground

Police arrest alleged known robber running down South Fraser wearing balaclava

Teen accused in Abbotsford attack on 85-year-old convicted of firearms offence

Brandon Janveaux found in vehicle in Chilliwack with .22-calibre rifle down his pants

VIDEO: Cold snap brings ideal conditions for Okanagan icewine

Take an inside look at how icewine is made

PHOTOS: Eastern Newfoundland reeling, search underway for missing man after blizzard

More than 70 centimetres of new snow fell overnight, creating whiteout conditions

Prince Harry, Meghan to give up ‘royal highness’ titles

‘Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved members of my family,’ says Queen Elizabeth II

Fraser Valley motorist drives up vehicle ramp and onto parked trailer on Chilliwack road

The incident happened after Chilliwack was handed another dump of snow Friday night

Canada Post driver in hospital after ice smashes windshield at Massey Tunnel

Incident happened on Richmond side of the Massey Tunnel

B.C. society calls out conservation officer after dropping off bear cub covered in ice

Ice can be seen in video matted into emaciated bear cub’s fur

Calls for dialogue as Coastal GasLink pipeline polarizes some in northern B.C.

Coastal GasLink is building the 670-kilometre pipeline from British Columbia’s northeast to Kitimat on the coast

VIDEO: Newbie Vancouver Giants leads victory over Victoria 4-1 Friday

The G-Men play Saturday in Victoria before hosting Kamloops on home ice in Langley Sunday afternoon

Closed mills, housing surge support a positive forecast for lumber industries

B.C. lumber producers have closed mills accounting for 18% of province’s capacity, RBC report says

Most Read