Congress wants to put a stop to illegal robocalls

CNET | 4/11/2019 | Marguerite Reardon
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Sen. John Thune (R-SD) (L) and Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) (R) have introduced a bipartisan bill to cut down on illegal robocalls.

There aren't many issues that lawmakers on both sides of the political aisle can rally around. But those annoying robocalls that interrupt your dinner or trick you into answering your cell phone thinking it's a friend or neighbor is such an issue.

Thursday - Senate - Commerce - Subcommittee - Communications

On Thursday the Senate Commerce subcommittee on communications held a hearing to discuss what's being done to cut down on illegal robocalls and to offer input on proposed legislation meant to curb them.

Americans received 47.8 billion robocalls last year, according to a Federal Communications Commission report released in February. And nearly 50 percent of those calls were from scammers. The report also highlighted that the number of complaints over illegal robocalls has been increasing, jumping from 172,000 complaints in 2015 to 232,000 complaints in 2018.

Robocalls - Auto-dialers - Messages - Millions - Phone

Robocalls use auto-dialers and recorded messages to make millions of phone calls. Often the numbers appear in the caller-ID appear to be from friends or neighbors when they are actually "spoofed." These calls hide the real number to trick people into answering the call. The FCC has adopted some policies to cut down on the number of calls people get, but Congress is also stepping in to ensure the agency has what it needs to give its policies teeth.

Sens. John Thune, a Republican from South Dakota, and Ed Markey, a Democrat from Mass. have reintroduced bipartisan legislation called the Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Defense (TRACED) Act.

Bill - Enforcement - Policies - Robocalling - Coordination

The bill would improve enforcement policies, such as criminalizing illegal robocalling, and also improve coordination between agencies policing robocalls. It would also require phone companies to use a new technology protocol called SHAKEN/STIR that would validate that calls are coming from where they claim be coming...
(Excerpt) Read more at: CNET
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