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CRTC to examine issue of caller ID spoofing

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission has begun a public consultation on the subject of unsolicited telecommunications and illegitimate telemarketing calls. The commission is looking for new ways to enhance consumer protections, including ways to reduce caller identification spoofing. It will use the information it collects to develop guidance for Canadians to better manage such calls and protect their privacy. Canadians can participate by filling out an online form, or submitting their views by mail or fax. As an initial step, the commission has requested that the telecommunications industry provide information on technical options for managing unsolicited and illegitimate calls by Sept. 4.

According to the commission, 40% of the 900,000 complaints filed since the establishment of the National Do Not Call List in 2008 involve spoofed caller ID numbers.

"Canadians are very frustrated with telemarketers who hide their identity or misappropriate the legitimate numbers of Canadians and businesses," said Jean-Pierre Blais, chairman of the CRTC. "A significant proportion of the complaints we receive now involve some element of illegitimate caller identification spoofing. There are tools that can help Canadians protect themselves, and there may be new and innovative solutions on the horizon. Following this consultation, we will be publishing guidance material to empower Canadians to make informed choices for themselves and their families."

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