• Robot Phone

Robot Phone (Photo : Twitter)

Google, Apple, Samsung, Microsoft, and Qualcomm are tech companies teaming up with telecom companies to fight automated telephone calls known as "robocalls". The pre-recorded sales calls often involve telemarketing or political phone campaigns. Tech companies teaming up with telecom giants including Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Comcast will work with the United States' Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to end pre-recorded messages from fake phone numbers, and robotic text messages.

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This group has over 30 companies. They include smartphone makers, OS developers, wireless carriers, network designers, and federal government agencies.

The "Robocall Strike Force" met on August 19, Friday in Washington, D.C. for the first time, and will develop a solid plan before it sits down with the FCC by October 19.

One goal of the tech/telecom team is to boost verification standards for caller ID. It also wants to start creating a "Do Not Originate" list that would make it difficult for robocallers to pretend to be companies, banks, or government agencies, according to Android Authority.

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler elucidated the situation by explaining that the "bad guys" are using technology to beat the "good guys". A big reason is that the telecom industry is not taking action.

Wheeler pointed out that over half of the 175,000 calls to the FCC's help center during the first half of 2016 were filed under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). The US Congress passed the law in 1991.

AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson is the group's chairman. He shared that the anti-robocall group now has a play book. He explained that some annoying phone calls are legal such as public opinion polls and telemarketing calls. However, millions of other robo-calls are clearly illegal.

Last year the FCC started dealing with the tech issues related to the problem. It gave the thumbs up for phone makers and telecoms to use robocall-blocking software.

In the past, the TCPA has often been used to sue companies about basic automated messages.  However, companies such as Facebook and Yahoo have faced lawsuits over notification texts for welcome messages and account sign-ins.

In related news, the FCC has certified two mysterious Sony smartphones that are reportedly part of the handset maker's new Xperia line, according to GSMArena. It is codenamed Kugo.

Sony's invite for the IFA 2016 trade show teases a new smartphone and many other mobile devices. The yearly event will start September 2 in Berlin, Germany.

Here's how to prevent robocalls: