About Call Authentication in Canada

Illegal robocalls are a nuisance and provide a way for bad actors to commit fraud. The increase in robocalls is due to the accessibility of tools that enable fraudsters to spoof outbound dialing numbers and effortlessly generate millions of calls.

STIR/SHAKEN is a series of protocols and a governance framework that ensure caller ID has not been spoofed, ultimately reducing the number of illegal robocalls.

STIR (Secure Telephony Identity Revisited) is a set of technical standards developed by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), which verify that a calling party is authorized to use a specific telephone number.

SHAKEN (Signature-based Handling of Asserted information using toKENs) is a framework developed by the Alliance of Telecommunications Industry Solutions (ATIS) for carriers to use when implementing call authentication on IP networks. SHAKEN introduces a governance model that designates the roles and responsibilities of the Policy Administrator (STI-PA) and Certificate Authority (STI-CA), as well as outlines who is eligible to request and receive certificates.

Key Players

The Canadian Secure Token – Governance Authority (CST-GA) has been established by a group of Canadian telecommunications carriers, in response to CRTC Compliance and Enforcement Decision 2019-403. The CST-GA will develop policies and support industry protocols and operational procedures, designed to authenticate telephone calls and mitigate spoofing and illegal robocalling, generally referred to as STIR/SHAKEN.

Neustar is co-author of STIR, co-contributor to SHAKEN, exclusive host of the ATIS Robocalling Testbed, and leading STIR/SHAKEN solution provider. As Policy Administrator, Neustar is providing comprehensive governance solution support to the CST-GA, enabling STIR/SHAKEN protocols across the Canadian telecommunications industry. As a Certification Authority, Neustar will issue digital STI Certificates to be used by authorized carriers to authenticate and verify calls. For more information about Neustar, insights on regulations, STIR/SHAKEN standards, or solutions for combating robocalls, visit http://www.stirshaken.neustar.

As a leading technology and solutions development organization, the Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions (ATIS) brings together the top global ICT companies to advance the industry’s business priorities. ATIS’ 150 member companies are currently addressing illegal robocall mitigation, 5G, Smart Cities, artificial intelligence-enabled networks, distributed ledger/blockchain technology, cybersecurity, IoT, emergency services, quality of service, billing support, operations, and much more. These priorities follow a fast-track development lifecycle – from design and innovation through standards, specifications, requirements, business use cases, software toolkits, open source solutions, and interoperability testing.