Phone Companies Adopt State AG Principles on Call Blocking and Labeling

While the principles focus on illegal robocalls and enforcement against bad actors; the use of call blocking and labeling technology in is line with similar broad-based programs of the FCC that could impact legitimate callers.

8/23/2019 8:00 AM

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Phone Companies Adopt State AG Principles on Call Blocking and Labeling

Several of the largest telephone service providers are partnering with U.S. attorneys general to adopt principles to stop illegal robocalls—including call blocking and labeling—adding to the slate of recent government and regulatory efforts to mitigate these illegal calls.

In June, for example, the Federal Communications Commission adopted rules allowing carriers to add their customers to call-blocking services unless they opt out.

While any focus to end illegal robocalls is appreciated; broad rules and adoption of technologies run the risk of limiting calls from legitimate financial services businesses in addition to schools and health care providers.

The Washington Post reports the agreement between 51 state attorneys general and 12 phone carriers, such as AT&T and T-Mobile, includes free “anti-robocall tools” for consumers, call-blocking technology and use of the SHAKEN/STIR call authentication framework.

The agreement is also designed to ease the process for attorneys general to investigate illegal robocalls by bad actors and prosecute, according to a news release from Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr, one of many attorneys general offices that announced the plan this month.

“We are pleased to join in this fight with our partners in the public and private sectors and will continue to work together to prevent scams from happening and go after the bad actors if they do,” Carr said.

According to the news release, the agreement for phone companies to prevent illegal robocalls includes:

  • Implementing call-blocking technology at the network level at no cost to customers.
  • Making available to customers additional, free, easy-to-use call blocking and labeling tools.
  • Implementing technology to authenticate that callers are coming from a valid source.
  • Monitoring their networks for robocall traffic.

Phone companies’ efforts to assist attorney generals in enforcement include:

  • Knowing who their customers are so bad actors can be identified and investigated.
  • Investigating and taking action against suspicious callers—including notifying law enforcement and state attorneys general.
  • Working with law enforcement, including state attorneys general, to trace the origins of illegal robocalls.
  • Requiring telephone companies with which they contract to cooperate in traceback identification.

“These principles align with the FCC’s own anti-robocalling and spoofing efforts. Earlier this month, the FCC adopted rules to apply anti-spoofing prohibitions to international robocalls, as called for by many of these same state attorneys general. In addition, we continue to see progress toward adoption of caller ID authentication using SHAKEN/STIR standards,” FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said in a news release following the AG’s announcement.

ACA International continues to support actions to mitigate illegal robocalls while advocating for regulations and use of technology that do not hinder communication between consumers and legitimate callers, including through recent comments to the FCC on the third Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Advanced Methods to Target and Eliminate Unlawful Robocalls.

Congress is slated to return to Capitol Hill following the Labor Day holiday and ACA is continuing its advocacy on behalf of the industry and members to help find a balance between ending the illegal robocalls while protecting communications between consumers and legitimate callers using modern technologies.

This is especially important with two bills to mitigate robocalls—the Stopping Bad Robocalls Act and Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence (TRACED) Act—that passed in the House and Senate before the August recess. Congress is expected to work to reconcile these bills when the session resumes.

See more on ACA’s advocacy efforts and how you can get involved on the Advocacy Resource Center.

Related Content from ACA International:

ACA Leads Effort to Ensure Legitimate Call Lines Remain Open to Consumers


Follow ACA International on Twitter @ACAIntl and @acacollector, Facebook and request to join our LinkedIn group for news and event updates. ACA International members are welcome to submit news items for possible publication to comm@acainternational.org. Visit our publications page for news submission guidelines and subscriptions to ACA Daily, Collector magazine and Pulse.

Advertising is available for companies wishing to promote their products or services. Be sure to visit the ACA Events Calendar on the Education and Training page to view our listing of upcoming CORE Curriculum and Hot Topic seminars featuring critical educational opportunities for your company.


Subscribe to ACA Daily NEWSROOM

Phone Companies Adopt State AG Principles on Call Blocking and Labeling

Several of the largest telephone service providers are partnering with U.S. attorneys general to adopt principles to stop illegal robocalls—including call blocking and labeling—adding to the slate of recent government and regulatory efforts to mitigate these illegal calls.

In June, for example, the Federal Communications Commission adopted rules allowing carriers to add their customers to call-blocking services unless they opt out.

While any focus to end illegal robocalls is appreciated; broad rules and adoption of technologies run the risk of limiting calls from legitimate financial services businesses in addition to schools and health care providers.

The Washington Post reports the agreement between 51 state attorneys general and 12 phone carriers, such as AT&T and T-Mobile, includes free “anti-robocall tools” for consumers, call-blocking technology and use of the SHAKEN/STIR call authentication framework.

The agreement is also designed to ease the process for attorneys general to investigate illegal robocalls by bad actors and prosecute, according to a news release from Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr, one of many attorneys general offices that announced the plan this month.

“We are pleased to join in this fight with our partners in the public and private sectors and will continue to work together to prevent scams from happening and go after the bad actors if they do,” Carr said.

According to the news release, the agreement for phone companies to prevent illegal robocalls includes:

  • Implementing call-blocking technology at the network level at no cost to customers.
  • Making available to customers additional, free, easy-to-use call blocking and labeling tools.
  • Implementing technology to authenticate that callers are coming from a valid source.
  • Monitoring their networks for robocall traffic.

Phone companies’ efforts to assist attorney generals in enforcement include:

  • Knowing who their customers are so bad actors can be identified and investigated.
  • Investigating and taking action against suspicious callers—including notifying law enforcement and state attorneys general.
  • Working with law enforcement, including state attorneys general, to trace the origins of illegal robocalls.
  • Requiring telephone companies with which they contract to cooperate in traceback identification.

“These principles align with the FCC’s own anti-robocalling and spoofing efforts. Earlier this month, the FCC adopted rules to apply anti-spoofing prohibitions to international robocalls, as called for by many of these same state attorneys general. In addition, we continue to see progress toward adoption of caller ID authentication using SHAKEN/STIR standards,” FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said in a news release following the AG’s announcement.

ACA International continues to support actions to mitigate illegal robocalls while advocating for regulations and use of technology that do not hinder communication between consumers and legitimate callers, including through recent comments to the FCC on the third Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Advanced Methods to Target and Eliminate Unlawful Robocalls.

Congress is slated to return to Capitol Hill following the Labor Day holiday and ACA is continuing its advocacy on behalf of the industry and members to help find a balance between ending the illegal robocalls while protecting communications between consumers and legitimate callers using modern technologies.

This is especially important with two bills to mitigate robocalls—the Stopping Bad Robocalls Act and Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence (TRACED) Act—that passed in the House and Senate before the August recess. Congress is expected to work to reconcile these bills when the session resumes.

See more on ACA’s advocacy efforts and how you can get involved on the Advocacy Resource Center.

Related Content from ACA International:

ACA Leads Effort to Ensure Legitimate Call Lines Remain Open to Consumers


Follow ACA International on Twitter @ACAIntl and @acacollector, Facebook and request to join our LinkedIn group for news and event updates. ACA International members are welcome to submit news items for possible publication to comm@acainternational.org. Visit our publications page for news submission guidelines and subscriptions to ACA Daily, Collector magazine and Pulse.

Advertising is available for companies wishing to promote their products or services. Be sure to visit the ACA Events Calendar on the Education and Training page to view our listing of upcoming CORE Curriculum and Hot Topic seminars featuring critical educational opportunities for your company.


Subscribe to ACA Daily NEWSROOM

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