State attorneys general urge tough robocall rules
Fifty-one members of the National Association of Attorneys General joined in reply comments on the FCC’s proposed robocall rules for gateway providers. In their comments, the attorneys general gave an account of the problem from their perspective and the actions they believe the Commission should take to provide relief from illegal robocalls.
The AGs’ approach can be summarized with this quote from their reply comments: “The time has come to start cutting the strings that form the nets that these illegal robocallers cast over the public.”
Here’s how the AGs believe this should be done.
The AGs agree with the proposed rule to require gateway providers to use SHAKEN on foreign-originated calls with a U.S.-based calling number.
The AGs state that the proposed March 1, 2023, deadline suggested by the Commission is too long. Instead, they urge the FCC to require SHAKEN implementation within 30 days of the notice of the order being published in the Federal Register.
Furthermore, the AGs urge the FCC to impose without the possibility of extensions or exemptions.
The AGs support the proposed rules for:
- Robocall mitigation
- 24-hour traceback response
- Mandatory blocking by gateway providers when notified by the Commission
- Mandatory blocking of gateway providers found to be bad actors
- Block calls that are highly likely to be illegal based upon reasonable analytics.
- Block calls with calling numbers on a Do-Not-Originate list.
As with the SHAKEN rules, the AGs urge the Commission to issue a compliance deadline 30 days after publication of the notice of the order in the Federal Register.
Know your customer
The AGs agree with the proposed rule that gateway providers ensure by contract that their foreign partners validate that the calling party is authorized to use the U.S.-based telephone numbers.
Robocall mitigation database
The AGs support the requirement that gateway providers file a certification in the Robocall Mitigation Database (RMD). These filings should include a detailed description of robocall mitigation practices.
The AGs state that filing a certification should not be construed as a safe harbor or immunity from legal obligations from the Telephone Sales Rule or elsewhere.
We’ve been reporting on the growing momentum among state AGs to take strong action against illegal robocalls.
The AGs certainly haven’t pulled any punches in their reply comments here either.
The Commission received several comments on these proposed rules that gateway providers don’t know the call originator. It would be impractical to require know-your-customer standards be applied to the call originator.
Did the AGs miss this?
Perhaps not. In their reply comments, they went out of their way to state that know-your-customer requirements should be “ensured by contract.” Since gateway providers contract with the next upstream providers, know your customer would only extend that far.
Would next upstream providers agree to such contract provisions? Perhaps. If so, they would likely employ similar provisions in their contracts with upstream providers. These requirements might flow upstream along a path of legitimate providers. Or at least, that might be how the AGs envision this would work.
This will be interesting to follow.
We provide an STI-CPS, the TransNexus CPS, which is available to any SHAKEN-authorized service provider, free of charge, to use when they want to send or receive STI PASSporTs out of band.
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