Will Congress act to stop robocalls?

August 21, 2019

Lately, Congress has been known more for all its partisan gridlock and infighting than for getting things done. But lawmakers have leapt at the chance to provide relief from robocalls to their constituents. The passage of the bipartisan Traced Act in the Senate was soon followed by the near unanimous approval of the Stopping Bad Robocalls Act in the House.

The Senate bill provided an important step in protecting us from spoofed calls with fake caller IDs, but the House bill takes the fight to the next level by requiring rules that will actually stop the abusive and unwanted robocalls from being made in the first place. To preserve the value of the national telephone system, we need the provisions of both bills signed into law.

July 17, 2019

A House panel on Wednesday voted to advance legislation aimed at protecting U.S. consumers from the billions of illegal robocalls made every year.

The Stopping Bad Robocalls Act had accrued 152 co-sponsors and passed the House Energy and Commerce Committee, 49-0.The bipartisan legislation takes aim at the illegal spam calls, often from scammers seeking to collect personal information on vulnerable consumers, by toughening up the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) ability to crack down on the scourge.

It would require telephone carriers to implement technology that verifies caller identity without charging customers an extra fee.

May 31, 2019

A coalition of business groups is rallying against a federal proposal that would allow phone carriers to block certain calls by default, an effort to crack down on illegal robocalls.

In a filing with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the health care providers, pharmacies and collection agencies argued the FCC proposal could block “legal” robocalls as well as those that are fraudulent or from scammers.

“Public safety alerts, fraud alerts, data security breach notifications, product recall notices, healthcare and prescription reminders, and power outage updates all could be inadvertently blocked under the draft Declaratory Order, among other time-sensitive calls,” the groups wrote in the filing Thursday…

A coalition of business groups is rallying against a federal proposal that would allow phone carriers to block certain calls by default, an effort to crack down on illegal robocalls.

In a filing with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the health care providers, pharmacies and collection agencies argued the FCC proposal could block “legal” robocalls as well as those that are fraudulent or from scammers.

“Public safety alerts, fraud alerts, data security breach notifications, product recall notices, healthcare and prescription reminders, and power outage updates all could be inadvertently blocked under the draft Declaratory Order, among other time-sensitive calls,” the groups wrote in the filing Thursday…

Source:https://bit.ly/2QJHKuB

February 4, 2019

Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. (D-N.J.) on Monday reintroduced a bill cracking down on “abusive” robocall practices, reviving the efforts in the last Congress to protect Americans from an increasing deluge of automated calls. 

Pallone, the chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, is reviving the Stopping Bad Robocalls Act, which would give the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) increased authority to combat robocalls. Pallone in a statement pointed to reports that 26.3 billion robocalls were placed in the U.S. in 2018, a 46 percent increase from the year before…

November 17, 2018

Sens. John Thune (R-S.D.) and Ed Markey (D-Mass.) introduced legislation Friday that would levy a hefty fine on illegal robocalls and attempt to prevent them from reaching consumers in the first place. 

Thune, chairman of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, and Markey, a member of the committee, introduced the Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence (TRACED) Act Friday, which would allow the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to levy civil penalties of up to $10,000 per call.

“The TRACED Act targets robocall scams and other intentional violations of telemarketing laws so that when authorities do catch violators, they can be held accountable,” Thune said in a press release. “Existing civil penalty rules were designed to impose penalties on lawful telemarketers who make mistakes. This enforcement regime is totally inadequate for scam artists and we need do more to separate enforcement of carelessness and other mistakes from more sinister actors…”

July 13, 2017

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) stepped up its efforts to crack down on robocalls Thursday, opening up an inquiry into how to combat illegal and fraudulent callers.

The FCC voted to explore the issue of caller ID spoofing which allows robocall operators to mask their identity and even make their numbers appear benign…