Robocall Bill Sees Support From AGs
Law 360 reports the following: The attorneys general of all 50 states threw their support behind a bipartisan telecom bill that would expand the Federal Communications Commission’s toolkit for fighting robocalls, telling Congress Tuesday these nuisances are the No. 1 source of consumer complaints their offices receive.
The state attorneys general as well as those of Washington D.C., Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands applauded the Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence, or TRACED, Act, in a letter to the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce Science & Transportation, where the resurrected bill landed after it was introduced in January.
The coalition said they are “heartened that [the bill] enables the telecom industry, federal regulators, and our offices to take meaningful steps to abate the rapid proliferation of these illegal and unwanted robocalls,” which they noted clocked in at nearly 50 million last year.
Under the act — introduced by Sens. John Thune, R-S.D., and Ed Markey, D-Mass. — the FCC has three years to take action against robocall violations, instead of the one-year window the agency has now, and it would be authorized to hand down fines of up to $10,000 per robocall. The legislation would also require service providers to adopt the agency’s new call authentication strategies, called the SHAKEN/STIR protocols, which the FCC has been aggressively pushing companies to implement.
“Since illegal robocalls continue to frustrate and harm consumers every day, we are encouraged that the TRACED Act prioritizes timely, industrywide implementation of call authentication protocols,” the state attorneys general said.
The group also expressed their support for the Interagency Working Group the bill would establish — between the FCC, Federal Trade Commission, the U.S. Department of Justice and other relevant federal agencies, alongside state attorneys general and other non-federal entities — as the attorneys general said their position on the front-lines of the issue gives them valuable input to contribute.
“Because we have long been in the battle against bad actors who exploit inexpensive and ubiquitous technology to scam consumers and intrude upon their privacy, we advocate that the proposed Interagency Working Group, upon its creation, regularly consult with the state AGs about this pervasive problem,” they said.
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