Service Providers

TRACED Act signed: Is it enough?

January 22, 2020

In the final part of this two-part blog series, REDCOM explores if the TRACED Act goes far enough to protect subscribers from robocalls. In part one we looked at what the Act is, what it entails, and how it affects Service Providers and their subscribers.

Does the TRACED Act go far enough?

As mentioned in the previous blog, the TRACED Act adds deterrents such as increased fines and the expanded statute of limitations. Still, the only mandated protection from robocalls is the STIR/SHAKEN framework. STIR/SHAKEN is an excellent start to mitigating robocalls and is one of the important countermeasures REDCOM employs in our Personalized Call Screening (PCS) solution. However, STIR/SHAKEN alone is not enough.

In the simplest terms, STIR/SHAKEN is a framework for validating a SIP call. It is not the solution to ending robocalls or nuisance calls. The STIR/SHAKEN framework is a great start, but all carriers know that STIR/SHAKEN has several significant limitations:

• It applies to SIP calls only
• Attestation (Full, Partial, Gateway) defines the relationship between the caller and carrier, not what is meaningful to the called party
• Originating from or transiting TDM/legacy PSTN results in loss of validation
• Requires management of validation credentials
• Only works if implemented by all carriers
• No flexibility to block annoying (but legal) nuisance calls (i.e., insurance salesmen, banks, surveys, etc.)

Now that the TRACED Act is law, STIR/SHAKEN will be implemented by the majority of U.S. carriers. They’ll comply, but the bad guys will continue to find ways to circumvent the technology. History tells this story, with 27 years of regulation that have led us to the present day, including the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1992 and the Do Not Call Registry. Are any of these actually working for you?

The best solution is a multi-layered approach

We believe the only effective solution to combating nuisance calls is a multi-layered approach that builds on STIR/SHAKEN with whitelists, blacklists, audio CAPTCHAs, reputation databases, and real-time analytics. Unlike an SBC solution that does verification at the edge, REDCOM’s Personalized Call Screening sits at the core and can offer carriers a network-wide solution. The further these methods can be pushed to the heart of the network or towards the originator, the more effective they become.

Additionally, according to the TRACED Act, Service providers cannot pass the cost of STIR/SHAKEN onto subscribers. Still, carriers can offer the additional protections provided by REDCOM PCS as value-added services. This will help mitigate the cost of a STIR/SHAKEN implementation.

An in-depth demo of REDCOM’s Personalized Call Screening can be found here.