New bill to mandate SHAKEN introduced in the U.S. Senate
A new piece of legislation to mandate STIR/SHAKEN, provide safe harbor for providers to block calls, and increase criminal penalties for unlawful robocall perpetrators has been introduced in the U.S. Senate. The TRACED Act is designed to provide every person with a phone much needed relief from unwanted, illegal robocalls.
The TRACED (Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence) Act, S.3655, has three main provisions to combat unwanted robocalls:
Stiff criminal penalties. Robocall perpetrators can be fined up to $10,000 per call. The statute of limitations for criminal prosecution is extended from one year to three years.
STIR/SHAKEN mandate. The FCC shall require voice service providers to implement call authentication not less than 18 months after the enactment of this bill.
Safe harbor for call blocking. The FCC shall enact rules granting carriers safe harbor from liability for unintended or inadvertent blocking of calls as a result of using the authentication framework STIR/SHAKEN.
In addition to these provisions, the TRACED Act also requires the following:
The FCC shall initiate a rulemaking to consider the best means of providing telephone subscribers or providers with the ability to block calls from a caller using an unauthenticated number.
Establishment of an interagency work group to study specific details around coordinating criminal prosecution of robocall perpetrators.
The FCC shall commence a proceeding to determine whether policies around access to telephone number resources should be modified.
The TRACED Act is sponsored by Senators John Thune and Ed Markey.
“The TRACED Act targets robocall scams and other intentional violations of telemarketing laws so that when authorities do catch violators, they can be held accountable,” said Thune. “Existing civil penalty rules were designed to impose penalties on lawful telemarketers who make mistakes. This enforcement regime is totally inadequate for scam artists and we need do more to separate enforcement of carelessness and other mistakes from more sinister actors.”
“As the scourge of spoofed calls and robocalls reaches epidemic levels, the bipartisan TRACED Act will provide every person with a phone much needed relief,” said Markey. “It’s a simple formula: call authentication, blocking, and enforcement, and this bill achieves all three. I thank Chairman Thune for his partnership on this effort and look forward to seeing this legislation through to its passage.”
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