FCC proposed rules for robocall traceback consortium

On February 6, 2020, the FCC issued a notice of proposed rules for the registration of a single consortium to conduct private-led traceback of suspected unlawful robocalls. The FCC is required by the newly enacted TRACED Act to establish these rules by a prescribed timetable. Here’s a quick overview.

TRACED Act requirements

Signed into law on December 30, 2019, the TRACED Act requires the Commission “issue rules to establish a registration process for the registration of a single consortium that conducts private-led efforts to trace back the origin of suspected unlawful robocalls.”

The Act requires the Commission to issue these rules no later than March 29, 2020.

The Act requires the consortium meet four requirements:

  1. Be a neutral third party competent to manage private-led traceback efforts;
  2. Maintain a set of written best practices on traceback;
  3. Focus traceback efforts on fraudulent, abusive or unlawful traffic;
  4. File a notice with the Commission that the consortium plans to conduct private-led traceback efforts in advance of registration.

Proposed rules

In their notice of proposed rulemaking, the FCC proposes the following rules:

  1. Enforcement Bureau will issue an annual public notice no later than April 28, 2020, seeking registration of a single consortium that conducts private-led efforts to trace back the origin of suspected unlawful robocalls.
  2. An entity that plans to register as the consortium submit in this docket a letter of intent to act as the consortium.
  3. The entity will address the statutory requirements by:
    1. demonstrating that the consortium is a neutral third party competent to act in this role;
    2. including a copy of the consortium’s best practices;
    3. certifying that the consortium’s efforts will focus on fraudulent, abusive, or unlawful traffic; and
    4. certifying that the consortium has notified the Commission that it intends to conduct traceback efforts.
  4. The Enforcement Bureau will select a single registered consortium if more than one qualified consortium seeks to register.
  5. The incumbent consortium will not be required to file a new application each year. Instead, the Commission proposes to extend the certification each subsequent year unless the incumbent notifies the Commission otherwise.

Comments on these proposed rules are due 10 days after publication in the Federal Register. UPDATE: This Notice of Proposed Rulemaking was published in the Federal Register on February 14, 2020. Comments are due February 24, 2020. Replies are due March 2, 2020.

FCC proposed rules on traceback consortium