Bill Introduced in Senate To Amend TCPA; Seeks Prison Time For Knowing and Willful Violations

A bill has been introduced in the Senate that seeks to stiffen the penalties for violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, including jail time for those who willfully or knowingly violate the statute while also doubling the penalty for those who are found to falsify their caller ID information.

While the full text of the bill, S. 1913, which was introduced by Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto [D-Nev.], and cosponsored by Sen. Charles Schumer [D-N.Y.], Sen. Margaret Wood Hassan [D-N.H.], Sen. Amy Klobuchar [D-Minn.], and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand [D-N.Y.], is not available, the name of the bill will likely tell you all everything you need to know. The bill is called the Deter Obnoxious, Nefarious, and Outrageous Telephone (DO NOT) Call Act.

Among the penalties highlighted in a press release announcing the proposed legislation were:

  • Allowing prison terms of up to one year for willfully and knowingly violating the TCPA
  • Allowing prison terms of up to three years for aggravated violations of the TCPA
  • Doubling the maximum penalties under the TCPA for falsifying caller ID, to $20,000 from $10,000

“Since my time as Nevada’s Attorney General, I’ve worked to protect Nevadans from companies taking advantage them,” Sen. Cortez Masto said, in a statement. “New technology is allowing robocallers to place more calls than ever, and my legislation would toughen the consequences for those who profit while preying on vulnerable Nevadans. I’ll keep working in the Senate to protect Americans from deceptive practices like this.”

The bill has been referred to the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee for its consideration.

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