FTC Robocall Killing Campaign Announces Winners: Indie Devs and Google Score
April 3, 2013 5:13 PM
comment(s) - last by
Several solutions received cash and acclaim, now FTC is pushing them to bring those solutions closer to market
winners in the U.S. Federal Trade Commission's "
FTC Robocall Challenge
". The challenge encouraged industry leaders and independent engineers/developers alike to come up with novel solutions for blocking automated spam phone calls.
A panel consisting of FTC Chief Technologist Steve Bellovin;
U.S. Federal Communications Commission
Chief Technologist Henning Schulzrinne; and Kara Swisher, Co-Executive Editor of
All Things D,
picked the winners
. The entrants were judged on whether their tool worked, how hard it would be to deploy, and how easy it would be to use.
Aaron Foss, a freelance software developer, and Serdar Danis, a computer engineer, tied in the individual challenge. Both developers offered up similar solutions -- filtering software that employed a blacklist to block known robocalling numbers and whitelist to automatically allow trusted numbers.
Both solutions also used CAPTCHA-style authentication to screen human phone calls from illegally placed robotic ones. The filtering software could be placed
on a mobile device
, on a personal computer, or installed directly atop a service provider's voice traffic backbone.
The pair will split the $50,000 USD prize pot, with each developer receiving $25K USD.
[Image Source: Detroit Free Press/Newscom]
A pair of Google Inc. (
) engineers won the team event (which allowed entries from organization of 10 or more people). Google's Daniel Klein and Dean Jackson proposed a big data solution dubbed "Crowd-Sourced Call Identification and Suppression." There was no monetary prize, but the pair does score some nice bragging rights and likely a thumbs up from their data giant employer, a company who loves free thinking.
It's unclear what the next step is, but presumably the winners will be encouraged to push their technology to market. The FTC made it clear, though, that it was not endorsing the winners' products, merely looking to spur the discussion. In total over 800 people submitted entries that the FTC ruled were valid attempts.
federal telemarketing laws
robocalls looking to sell products
(though the aforementioned political calls are legal). Still the practice
continues to occur (illegally)
due to the potential for profit from the pesky mass marketing technique.
Unfortunately, federal laws very much allow robocalls that are not being used to market a product. Politicians often use the annoying tactic to try to pester voters into voting pre-election. In the last cycle both
Barack Obama (D) and Mitt Romney (R) made massive use of robocalls
trying to sway the more simple-minded members of the voting base to vote for them. There's little interesting at the federal level to outlaw
kind of pesky robocall.
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
4/4/2013 8:13:35 AM
That's much better than my idea of looking at your Call Display and screening unknowns and in-laws.
But will they make a version that runs on Android 1.6 that has 32MBs of ram and a single core 67Mhz processor?
"So if you want to save the planet, feel free to drive your Hummer. Just avoid the drive thru line at McDonalds." -- Michael Asher
FCC Takes On Robocallers with Two Citations
March 18, 2013, 11:45 AM
FTC: Uncle Sam Will Give You $50K if You Can Think up a Way to Stop Robocallers
October 19, 2012, 12:51 PM
Robocaller Chief Gets Caught, Sentenced After Second Lamborghini Purchase
March 2, 2011, 4:21 PM
Robocalled at 4:30 in the Morning? There's an [Internet] App for That
January 14, 2011, 2:35 PM
Buoyed by Strong iPhone Sales, Apple Reports Revenue of $42.1B, $8.5B in Profit for Fiscal Q4
October 20, 2014, 5:21 PM
Windows 8.1 + Android "Sell Mini PC" w/ Bay Trail Creates New PC Form Factor
October 20, 2014, 5:07 PM
OnePlus to Open Pre-orders on October 27
October 20, 2014, 1:34 PM
Apple Releases iOS 8.1; Adds Apple Pay Support, SMS Relay, Instant Hotspot
October 20, 2014, 1:00 PM
Quick Note: Android Gmail App to Gain Yahoo, Outlook Account Support
October 20, 2014, 9:15 AM
Forbes: Microsoft's Smartwatch to Launch Next Month
October 20, 2014, 8:36 AM
Most Popular Articles
Google Announces Android 5.0 “Lollipop”, Nexus 9 Tablet, and Nexus 6 “Phablet”
October 15, 2014, 12:41 PM
Cool Science Video of the Day: Carnivorous Leech Eats Giant Jungle Worm
October 16, 2014, 6:44 PM
Oops! Apple Outs iPad mini 3, iPad Air 2 via iTunes Store
October 15, 2014, 1:32 PM
HBO, CBS Lead Charge to Ditch Cable
October 16, 2014, 4:40 PM
Google Offers $99 Nexus Player w/$40 Controller for Android Set-Top Streaming, Gaming
October 15, 2014, 3:01 PM
Latest Blog Posts
The Surface Mini That Was Never Released Gets "Hands On" Treatment
Sep 26, 2014, 8:22 AM
ISIS Imposes Ban on Teaching Evolution in Iraq
Sep 17, 2014, 5:22 PM
Space Terrorism is a Looming Threat For the United States
Apr 23, 2014, 7:47 PM
Facebook Aims to Provide Internet to "Every Person in the World" with Drones, Satellites
Apr 1, 2014, 10:20 AM
Retail Mobile Sites Experience Outages in Light of Simplexity's Bankruptcy
Mar 14, 2014, 8:48 AM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information