Legislation to Fight Illegal Robocalls Passes Senate

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U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) voted to pass the Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence (TRACED) Act on May 23, 2019, legislation that would provide regulators more time to find scammers, toughen penalties for offenders, promote call authentication and blocking adoption, and bring relevant federal and state agencies together to address issues with criminal prosecution of offenders who intentionally break laws.

The sweeping bill also included the FCC Reporting Modernization Act, a bipartisan bill led by Sen Schatz, which would update current Federal Communications Commission (FCC) reporting requirements to include all Telephone Consumer Protection Act complaints and enforcement actions regarding robocalls and spoofed phone calls, the practice of misrepresenting a caller’s phone number.

“If there is one thing Americans can agree on, it’s that robocalls often cross the line,” said Sen. Schatz, the lead Democrat on the Senate Communications, Technology, Innovation, and the Internet Subcommittee. “Our bill, which passed the Senate today, will give regulators the time and tools they need to fight illegal robocalls.”

Sen. Schatz’s FCC Reporting Modernization Act requires the FCC to report the following information to Congress every year:

  • Number of complaints received by the FCC alleging that a consumer received a robocall or spoofed call;
  • Number of citations issued by the FCC in enforcing against such complaints;
  • Number of notices of apparent liability issued by the FCC to enforce policies against robocalls or spoofed calls, along with the amount of penalties involved, the recipient of the notice and the status of the proceeding.


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