CRTC directs service providers to implement STIR/SHAKEN, file readiness reports

As of November 30th, 2021, STIR/SHAKEN implementation will be a condition of offering telecommunications services in Canada

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) issued a decision directing telecommunications service providers (TSPs) to implement STIR/SHAKEN as a condition of providing and offering telecommunications services. The direction will be effective November 30th, 2021.

Further, the CRTC directed TSPs to file STIR/SHAKEN implementation readiness reports by August 31st, 2021.

STIR/SHAKEN is a suite of protocols and procedures designed to help reduce caller identification (ID) spoofing. It does so by authenticating and verifying caller ID information. STIR stands for Secure Telephone Identity Revisited, while SHAKEN stands for Signature-based Handling of Asserted Information using toKENs.

The CRTC previously extended the deadline for implementing STIR/SHAKEN to June 30th, 2021. Under the new directive, TSPs will need to submit an implementation readiness assessment report to the CRTC by August 31st, 2021. The report should describe the state of STIR/SHAKEN implementation on as of June 30th. The CRTC decision includes further details on what should be covered by the report, which you can view here.

Along with the initial report, the CRTC says that TSPs must provide the commission with status reports on STIR/SHAKEN deployment every six months starting May 31st, 2022 and continuing until the CRTC decides otherwise.

The CRTC notes in the decision that it concluded that the importance of STIR/SHAKEN outweighs the burden on TSPs to implement the system, which is why the Commission pushed forward with requiring the implementation.

Considering how rampant an issue spam calls are in Canada, having a system to help people verify calls should prove helpful. That said, STIR/SHAKEN alone may not be enough — simply verifying calls could help users avoid them, but it doesn’t prevent the calls in the first place. Still, implementing STIR/SHAKEN is a start.

It’s also worth noting that some people may not benefit from STIR/SHAKEN immediately thanks to how manufacturers implement support on their phones. Android devices should show a verification message on the call screen when a user on a STIR/SHAKEN network receives an authenticated call. Apple also added STIR/SHAKEN support in iOS 13, but The Verge notes that iOS users can only check if a call is verified after the call is done.

To do so, head to the Phone app’s ‘Recent’ tab and look for a little check mark icon beneath the phone number. That’s much less useful than seeing verification on the incoming call screen — hopefully it’s something Apple will change when STIR/SHAKEN is more widely implemented.

Source: CRTC