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Telecom regulator to meet OTT cos on action against phishing, spam calls

Trai will soon call a meeting with the makers of OTT communication apps to discuss how these apps can be integrated into the regulator's mechanism for controlling spam and phishing

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BS Web Team New Delhi

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By seeking the cooperation of communication apps such as WhatsApp, Signal, Telegram, and Instagram, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) is expanding its efforts to stop spam calls, messages, and phishing, according to a report in The Economic Times on Thursday.

Trai will soon call a meeting with the makers of over-the-top (OTT) communication apps to discuss how these apps can be integrated into Trai's mechanism for controlling spam and phishing, official said. Although telecom firms and Trai have been working to create artificial intelligence-based solutions to check spam calls and messages on the regular terrestrial network, scammers have moved to OTT platforms such as WhatsApp.

The cooperation of OTT apps is necessary in order to stop spam calls and phishing, and Trai needs to figure out how that can be done, the report quoted a senior official as saying.  The regulator does not plan to regulate communication apps, but it does expect them to cooperate with telecom operators to check phishing and spam calls, he added. Trai has issued several directives in recent months to combat the scourge of spam calls, messages, and phishing.

Earlier this month, Trai had directed telecom firms to deploy artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning-based systems to identify and act against senders of spam messages and phishing calls who are not registered in accordance with regulations. All the telcos were asked to give an updated report on the status of the actions taken, within a month. The telcos have also been directed to share intelligence with other firms using distributed ledger technology (DLT).

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First Published: Jun 22 2023 | 1:48 PM IST

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