The robocalling problem just kept getting worse and worse last year, the Federal Communications Commission ordered telecom executives to start doing something about the problem, which one report in January 2019 estimated had exploded to the tune of 26.3 billion robocalls placed in the U.S. numbers annually. And not even the people in charge of the nation's wireless companies are immune, apparently. At the Economic Club event in Washington DC on Wednesday, AT & T CEO Randall Stephenson got dialed up, or certainly appeared to, in front of dozens of audience members.
The Dallas Morning News reported Stephenson was there to part the DC bureaucrats who (1
In the clip below posted by C-SPAN, Stephenson paused to glance at his Apple Watch, telling the audience: "I'm getting a robocall too … It's literally a robocall."
AT & T and rival Comcast has just announced a partnership (supported by other industry players like Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint) to test new call authentication technology using cryptographic protocols named SHAKEN and STIR Sec
According to an AT & T statement, the system should make it harder for robocals to spoof telephone numbers – a practice in which the caller tricks a telephone network into showing a fake or fraudulent number on the receiving end. A similar system was rolled out in limited usage on T-Mobile earlier this year, while Sprint will carry out its own testing in the second half of 2019. Senators John Thune and Ed Markey have also introduced legislation (the TRACED Act) mandating providers of voice "
Given the uncanny timing, it's worth wondering if this was a publicity ploy of some kind. On the other hand, it's kind of embarrassing, given Stephenson heads one of the companies that let this problem spiral out of control. Anecdotally, I can tell you there is no such thing as a good time to get one of these things, and you have received them in the shower, on the subway, in the middle of other calls, during movies, and just when I'm starting to fall asleep.