Senate Robocall Bill Passes
Last week, the U.S. Senate passed the Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deference Act (TRACED), which will give the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) greater power to combat robocalls. Specifically, TRACED will allow the FCC more time to peruse violators and will increase fines for illegal robocalls.
The Act, which was introduced by Senators John Thune, (R – S.D), and Ed Markey (D – Mass.), passed in a 98-1 vote and has garnered support from the attorneys general from all 50 states. The bill is now being passed to the House of Representatives, and a House companion bill is currently pending approval by the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
“Our legislation cracks down on the scammers that now account for nearly half of all the robocalls in our country,” said Markey.
In summary, the bill would enact the following:
- The FCC will have 3 years to pursue robocall violators, instead of the current one-year law
- The FCC will be allowed to fine up to $10,000 per call
- The citation requirement for violations will be eliminated
- Service providers would have to adopt the FCC’s SHAKEN/STIRE call authentication procedures within 18 months of the Act’s enactment –making it more difficult for scammers to spoof Caller ID information
In addition to the Government, the bill is supported by telecom organization USTelecom and FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. Pai praised the coordination between the FCC and state attorneys general found in the bill. “This is a vital partnership in the fight against unwanted robocalls and one we already are working hard at,” Pai stated on Thursday. “It’s important that federal and state partners work together — and engage productively with private stakeholders — to address this important consumer protection priority.”
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