FCC Launches All-Out War on Robo-Callers and Scammers

Today’s topics include the FCC launching a new offensive against scams and robocalls, and Microsoft releasing its Azure Blockchain Development Kit.

The Federal Communications Commission has launched an all-out war on robo-callers and scammers by hitting them at the network level.

In a letter to U.S. voice carriers, both landline and wireless, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai asked each about their plans to move forward on ways to detect and block spoofed scam and robocalls.

Pai is also asking carriers to move toward a technology cleverly called SHAKEN/STIR, which stands for Secure Handling of Asserted information using toKENs/Secure Telephony Identity Revisited. The letters asked each carrier to respond by Nov. 19 and asked them about their plans to support SHAKEN/STIR, their timeline for implementing it and other information, including what the companies are doing to help their customers block scam and robo calls.

Microsoft has debuted Version 1.0 of its Azure Blockchain Development Kit, which provides tools to help developers integrate blockchain with a wide range of applications.

According to Marc Mercuri, Microsoft principal program manager of blockchain engineering, “This kit extends the capabilities of [Microsoft’s] blockchain developer templates and Azure Blockchain Workbench, which incorporates Azure services for key management, off-chain identity and data, monitoring, and messaging APIs into a reference architecture that can be used to rapidly build blockchain-based applications.”

Components in the development kit include inbound and outbound SMS, Integrated Voice Response, IoT Hub and IoT Central, Xamarin mobile client for iOS and Android, Dynamics integration via Common Data Service, Cortana, Alexa and Google Assistant bots and assistants, and web UX.