I propose a system comprised of smart endpoints and complaint aggregators, with interfaces to carriers and law enforcement, partially supported by bounties from successful prosecutions.

Benefits from this system accrue to all parties:

• Smart endpoint hardware and software near consumers provides call screening features in a simple comprehensible manner (from the consumer point-of-view, an answering machine plus screening features). Building in flexibility allows the system to remain nimble as techniques become more sophisticated. Smart endpoints can capture complete audio data, compute audio fingerprints, and make classification decisions based on both content and metadata.

• Complaint aggregation services benefit from a stream of prompt data in high volume. Beneficiaries of that aggregated data include law enforcement personnel and prosecutors, who can prioritize investigations by volume, and build stronger cases with high incident counts that are well-documented, supporting higher fines from successful prosecutions.

• Interfaces between endpoints, carriers, and complaint aggregators enable the use of live call transfers as one of the call rejection mechanisms. Benefits include improved opportunities for call tracing, and selective automation-supported transfer of calls to law enforcement for identifying qualifiers and telemarketers.

• Financial incentives from sharing bounties on successful prosecutions give at least a psychological/marketing boost to the entire system. There is some history for bounties in the U.S, in the form of qui tam litigation. Naming the endpoints “privateers” and noting the history of letters of marque is one evocative way to market the concept to consumers. Who doesn’t want to own a privateer protecting their privacy?

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