PhotoWe're all familiar with robocalls -- those annoying computerized phone calls that come during dinner from telemarketers hustling everything from a new roof for your house to the latest flavor of political candidate.

In an effort to deal with the problem, the Federal Trade Commission is holding a Robocall Summit in Washington, DC, on October 18. FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz will provide opening remarks, and will be joined at the event by experts in the fields of law enforcement, telemarketing and telecommunications.

During the last two years the FTC has stopped companies responsible for billions of robocalls. But the number of robocall complaints continues to rise as new technologies enable telemarketers to autodial thousands of phone calls every minute that display false or misleading caller ID information for an incredibly low cost. All telemarketing robocalls have been illegal since September 1, 2009, unless the recipient has opted in writing to receive them.

The summit

The Robocall Summit will explore innovations designed to trace robocalls, prevent wrongdoers from faking caller ID data, and stop unwanted calls. It will include a report on the current state of robocall technology and the industry, along with a discussion of the laws surrounding the use of robocalls, including how they are enforced, enforcement limitations, and what this means for consumers. The afternoon sessions will focus on developing solutions to the problem of illegal robocalls, including panels on caller ID spoofing and call authentication, data mining and anomaly detection, and call-blocking.

The Summit, which will be Webcast, will close with a special announcement by Bureau of Consumer Protection Director David Vladeck.

You can attend

The workshop is free and open to the public. It will be held at the FTC’s satellite conference center at 601 New Jersey Ave., NW, Washington, DC. Pre-registration is encouraged because seating is limited. To pre-register, send an email containing your name and organization to

Day-of registration for the conference will begin at 8:15 am on the 18th. Attendees should arrive at the FTC 30 minutes before the event, and bring a valid government issued photo ID. Security processing will include a metal detector and X-ray screening of all hand carried items.

FTC staff will live-tweet the Robocall Summit. The agency’s Twitter handle is @FTC. If you watch the Webcast and want to submit questions to participants online, tweet questions with the hashtag #FTCrobo.

You may also submit questions via the FTC’s Facebook page.


FTC Robocall Summit
9:00 amWelcome – Chairman Jon Leibowitz

FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz

Morning Focus: Where We Are Today
9:15-10:05 amThe Network: What is the current state of telephonic technology?
  • Steven M. Bellovin, Chief Technology Officer, Federal Trade Commission
  • Henning Schulzrinne, Chief Technology Officer, Federal Communications Commission
10:10-11:00 amThe Industry: How have technological changes affected the telecommunications industry, including entities that want to make automated calls?
  • Moderator: Roberto Anguizola, Assistant Director, FTC Division of Marketing Practices
  • Kevin Rupy, Senior Director Law & Policy, US Telecom
  • David Diggs, Vice President, Wireless Internet Development, CTIA
  • Brad Herrmann, Founder & President, Call-Em-All
11:15-12:20 pmThe Law:  What is the law surrounding robocalls?  How is it enforced? What are the limitations and challenges? What does all of this mean for consumers?
  • Moderator: Lois Greisman, Associate Director, FTC Division of Marketing Practices
  • Greg Zoeller, Indiana Attorney General
  • Will Maxson, Program Manager for Do Not Call Enforcement, FTC
  • Eric Bash, Associate Chief, FCC Enforcement Bureau
Afternoon Focus: Developing Solutions
1:20-2:40 pmCaller ID Spoofing and Call Authentication Technology
  • Moderator: Kati Daffan, Staff  Attorney, FTC Division of Marketing Practices
  • Henning Schulzrinne, Chief Technology Officer, FCC
  • Adam Panagia, Director, AT&T Network Fraud Investigations
  • Patrick Cox, CEO, TrustID
  • Vijay A. Balasubramaniyan, CEO & Co-founder, Pindrop Security
2:45-3:15 pmData Mining and Anomaly Detection
  • David Belanger, Senior Research Fellow, Stevens Institute of Technology, AT&T Labs Chief Scientist (retired)
3:30-4:40 pmCall-Blocking Technology
  • Moderator: Bikram Bandy, Staff  Attorney, FTC Division of Marketing Practices
  • Andrew Whitt, Director of Network Operations & Corporate Technology, Verizon Communications
  • Jeff Stalnaker, President & Co-founder, PrivacyStar
  • Matt Stein, Senior Vice President, Network, Technology & Planning, Primus Telecommunications Canada Inc
4:45 pmAnnouncement – BCP Director David Vladeck

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