Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?
Canada Communications United States IT Your Rights Online

Canada and USA Feds Unite To Fight Spammers and Telemarketers 68

Reader Freshly Exhumed writes: Telemarketers in Canada and the USA have essentially been bypassing each nation's do-not-call registry by basing their efforts from the other or from off-shore locations, while cross border spam remains rampant. Now the CRTC, Canada's telecom and broadcast regulator, has announced it signed a partnership agreement with the Federal Trade Commission of the United States to fight against spam and calls from pesky telemarketers. The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) consists of all unsolicited telecommunications, unsolicited commercial email (spam), and other "illegal electronic threats" that cover anti-spam laws in the United States and Canada.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Canada and USA Feds Unite To Fight Spammers and Telemarketers

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward

    they will just move to india and restart their BS.

  • It's all for the show, folks.

    Google, Yahoo, none of them care. Spam/abuse reports go into a black hole. You can block international sources and be no worse off, like, etc. I know this is counter-intuitive, but I get actual responses from Microsoft, and occasionally, some from European ISPs.

    Until you can get accounts shut off, and make it vastly tougher, it's a game of whack-a-mole.

    • Alphabet certainly does care - Gmail servers and bandwidth aren't free, so the less spam that gets through their filters, the lower their costs.
      • Once in a while, I'll get to kill an account, but gmail and yahoo seem to be the favorites among the non-UTF8 senders. We have a honeypot account that catches lots of mud. These days, I just delete it, rather than make the filters even more clogged than they already are.

        The truth is: these are corporations that act in their best interest, and that means sales. Very few of them think in terms of bandwidth costing the money, because spam is so cheap to send. The day Yahoo gets sold, my spam will drop by 10%.

  • by whoever57 ( 658626 ) on Saturday March 26, 2016 @01:00PM (#51782393) Journal

    Spam is largely a solved problem. I see little spam. However, I am receiving increasing numbers of telemarketing calls. These calls used spoofed caller-id so that the source appears to be very local. Because they are spoofing caller-id, they don't care about do-not-call lists.

    What we need is for telecom companies to block spoofed caller-id.

    • by fustakrakich ( 1673220 ) on Saturday March 26, 2016 @01:06PM (#51782419) Journal

      What we need is to make it impossible to spoof caller ID, which I'm sure isn't very difficult technically, but the telecoms are accomplices in the business.

    • Spam is largely a solved problem.

      Uhhhh.. really? I still get a ton of spam emails. I'd say 98% of the email I receive is unsolicited spam. I just don't see much of it thanks to Popfile filtering.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Spam is largely a solved problem. I see little spam. However, I am receiving increasing numbers of telemarketing calls. These calls used spoofed caller-id so that the source appears to be very local. Because they are spoofing caller-id, they don't care about do-not-call lists.

      What we need is for telecom companies to block spoofed caller-id.

      What a load of BS. I get about 12k spam emails a day out of usually less than half a dozen legitimate messages. Spam is out of control. Admittedly, I've had the same email address for twenty-two years and posted to Usenet using it.

      The phone calls would go away if Microsoft didn't find them so profitable. Every single one of those the past year that I've received was from a phone number owned by Microsoft from when they consumed Skype. Because Microsoft doesn't give a damn about the law, they have decid

    • A good household distillation system is a very good solution to fecal contamination of drinking water. But it's still a burden for businesses who manage email, and for people whose mailboxes are occasionally overwhelmed by spam, for legitimate business traffic blocked as spam, and for people whose filters are not quite as good and get overwhelmed or defrauded by spammers.

      I've not gotten so much telemarketing lately. I _am_ getting a lot of recruiter calls from fools in India who've seen a few keywords on my

    • What we need is for telecom companies to block spoofed caller-id.

      I would argue that while blocking spoofing is a good start, we need to go one step further.

      The reason fighting email spam has been so effective is because it's a combination of multiple factors: blacklisting known bad sources (i.e. the spoofing solution for POTS) and content analysis such as Bayesian analysis and flagging email when the same email shows up a massive number of times. Right now we do none of this, and as a result everyone in the

    • Centurylink does block spoofed caller ID on their SIP trunks but not PRI Trunks. However they no longer sell PRI Trunks directly.. They install a T1 that is dedicated to SIP trunks if your phone system does not support sip then they convert SIP to PRI. But if your phone system tries to send a caller id that is not owned by that company it will not connect the call. You can forward caller id information from an incoming call to an out going but you also must provide your own caller ID to say yes this is real
    • Spam is largely a solved problem.

      Even if your premise were correct (which it isn't), the costs of said 'solution' are borne by the victim in the cost of increased CPU cycles, storage, et cetera. Any legitimate solution would impose these costs on the malefactor instead.

  • If I don't know the number, I don't answer. The ultimate white list. So until the cancerous lesions can spoof th enumbers of the people I do recognize, this method works pretty good.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      I take it a step further and use a silence track as my default ring tone. Then select people on my contact list, from whom I would actually want to receive phone calls, get "white-listed "by having a ring-tone that actually makes noise.

  • Why the h*ll wasn't this done around the turn of the century? It's not like the two phone systems have any large incompatibilities or that they're too far from each other to make cooperation possible.

    Also, time to shut down services that allow you to spoof phone numbers - and cut off access from countries that don't comply.

    • The US CAN-SPAM law was designed to permit "spam", unsolicited bulk communications, UBC, or "spam" as it was originally and very carefully defined. The law _protects_ spam, by setting an extremely low threshold for spam to be considered legal under US federal law, and by enforcing a US federal policy of "opt-out" rather than "opt-in" being the standard to avoid prosecution or civil suit for spam. It also prevents the publication and use of a "Do Not Spam" list for all bulk advertisers. Moreover, most commer

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Canada's anti-spam legislation, on the other hand, requires express consent in order to spam people. It's opt-in. It also allows individuals to take civil action in 2017 (i.e. after a 3-year period from the act's introduction).

  • I keep forgetting to troll these people.

    • I just tell them I don't have a computer.

      My wife: "You lied!"

      Me: "No I didn't. I don't have a computer. I have a bunch of computers."

    • I managed to get one of those guys to talk to me "honestly" for a while. He started his patter and I said I knew this was a ransomware scam. I politely asked what his plans in life were.

      We played a little guessing game about where they're based, since the accent is obviously Indian-subcontinent. Took me a couple of tries, but the answer is Sri Lanka. I suggested he learn to program if he wanted to have a more successful career.

      The next time one of them called I asked how the weather was in Columbo that even

  • by ZipK ( 1051658 ) on Saturday March 26, 2016 @01:51PM (#51782627)
    I got important messages today about my credit card account being closed and a balance I owe on a purchase I didn't make. Who is going to repeatedly alert me to these things if the spammers are shut down?
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Your post advocates a

    ( ) technical (X) legislative ( ) market-based ( ) vigilante

    approach to fighting spam. Your idea will not work. Here is why it won't work. (One or more of the following may apply to your particular idea, and it may have other flaws which used to vary from state to state before a bad federal law was passed.)

    ( ) Spammers can easily use it to harvest email addresses
    ( ) Mailing lists and other legitimate email uses would be affected
    (X) No one will be able to find the guy or collect the mone

  • The FTC is pitifully hopeless for a job like this. If we have to put up with the downsides of living in a militant surveillance state, why can't we at least enjoy the benefits of putting the NSA on the job? With the world's largest telecommunications surveillance system, they certainly know much more about spammers and telemarketers than the FTC does; and are probably more comfortable than the FTC is with forwarding information to whoever is handling the executions and extraordinary renditions today.
    • by swb ( 14022 )

      It does make you wonder if you gave the NSA the equivalent of a blank check and said "nuke the spammers" -- if this means taking entire data centers offline, DO IT.

      Could they? Between their intelligence on system flaws and no doubt mapping every shady hosting center and possible hacking source, I might expect they could, but maybe not. Maybe too much of it is compromised desktop PCs and legions of residential/business bots for even the NSA to deal with.

      • The NSA has no enforcement power: they cannot prosecute or file charges against anyone.

        • "We kill people based on metadata."

          Gen. Michael Hayden

          (Yes, technically, the NSA doesn't handle the wet-ops stuff, that gets kicked over to the CIA/JSOC/USSOCOM/whoever has won the right to take out the cool toys today; but they do do hit lists. Also, odds are good that their hacker types could, if they so desired, make quite a mess of any but the best-designed spamming infrastructures. They may or may not have the legal authority to do so; but if an anonymous electronic attack were to happen, that wo
  • by Livius ( 318358 )

    On the bright side, there's a recognition that there is a problem.

    However, both the FTC and the CRTC are government agencies which exist to protect an industry from consumers; neither seems to know what to do when asked to protect consumers.

  • Cypress is now where many of the telemarketers have moved their operation to.

    Also India and Majorca and the Philippines and Lesotho and Egypt and Namibia and Tunisia...basically any place overseas. Because they know damn well that the FCC isn't gonna spend their time hunting down a telemarketer from Greece or the Sultanate of Oman or Romania or whatever.

  • They still make a pile of exceptions to the do not call list. Surveys can call, politicians can call, charities can call. Yet most Canadians who put themselves on the DNC list don't want any calls with surveys probably being some of the worst offenders.

    When I say I don't want calls I really really don't want calls.

    So here is how I would like it to work. I would like to sign up for two DNC call lists. One would be the usual list, but the other would be part of a service. If someone calls me and I don't
  • People should be given mod points to rate the calls they receive. The rating would be maintained by the various telcos, and the caller's rating would appear in a way that your phone could filter/ignore calls below some threshold, say from -1 to 5.
    People who wish to spoof caller ID, or place anonymous calls, would always have a rating of zero.
    People who consistently give good calls could receive a boost for spreading good karma.

  • Tax them out the wazoo! Then use some of those funds to catch and prosecute the other offenders. I do get it -- companies need to sell. And I need to know what is out there. Yet, the spam and telemarketing tools are way too abused. Rather there be an opt-IN option, from a centralized ad repository (like Google?!). I NEVER respond to ads - targeted or otherwise. Nor do I accept unsolicited calls. I ALWAYS search for what I need. I am going to start a site for folks to go see what they don't know what the

The last thing one knows in constructing a work is what to put first. -- Blaise Pascal