WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) is cracking down on intrusive and illegal robocallers by supporting bipartisan legislation to give authorities better tools to enforce the rules on the books against telemarketing scammers.
“On my 99 County Tour, I’ve personally heard from countless Iowans in my town hall meetings about intrusive and illegal robocalls,”said Senator Joni Ernst. “The current law doesn’t do nearly enough to deal with scammers who are intentionally and aggressively breaking telemarketing rules, and it’s past time we modernize our policies to stop them. The bipartisanTRACED Act will give authorities the necessary tools to go after robocall scam artists and to better enforce the rules on the books.”
The TRACED Act—or Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence Act—would provide regulators and law enforcement additional tools to prevent illegal robocalls, punish illegal robocallers, and provide consumers with additional means of avoiding “neighborhood spoofing” calls, where illegal robocalls are configured in such a way that caller ID lists them as a local number.
Specifically, the TRACED Act does the following:
• Permits the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to pursue violations for up to three years after a violation has occurred and would eliminate the requirement that the FCC issue a citation first. Currently, the FCC can only seek penalties within one year after issuing a citation to a robocaller.
• Directs the FCC to adopt rules requiring telephone providers to adopt authentication technologies to help prevent caller ID spoofing. This rule will help stop “neighborhood spoofing.”
• Directs the FCC to initiate a rulemaking to help protect subscribers from receiving unwanted calls or texts from callers. This mandate will ensure the FCC adopts protections that help empower subscribers to block calls from spoofed numbers.
• Commissions a working group of law enforcement and other key robocall enforcers under the U.S. Attorney General to recommend legislation, regulation, and policy changes that can help deter criminal robocalls and punish violators.
The bill currently has 75 Democratic and Republican cosponsors and passed the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation unanimously on April 3. All 50 state attorneys general support this legislation.