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US Announces Robocall Challenge Winners

The US Federal Trade Commission announced the winners of its Robocall Challenge, designed to find ways to stop the growing number of automated, unsolicited prerecorded telemarketing calls to consumers. The FTC awarded prizes for a solution that an individual or small group proposed and prizes for one that groups of 10 or more developed. Serdar Danis, a computer engineer, and freelance software developer Aaron Foss shared the $50,000 individual prize. Google engineers received the large-group prize, which did not include a monetary award. All these solutions use a whitelist/blacklist approach to filter unwanted calls. Both of the individual proposals use a CAPTCHA test to block robocalls. Danis’ approach is reportedly software based, while Foss’ is cloud-based. The Google approach relies on a crowdsourced list of offenders. The agency said its challenge, launched in October 2012, is a part of its “ongoing campaign against illegal, prerecorded telemarketing calls.” The winners were chosen from almost 800 submissions. (Forbes)(Ars Technica)(United States Federal Trade Commission)

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