State AGs Back More Anti-Robocall Efforts from FCC

State Attorneys General from across the country are calling on the Federal Communications Commission to take further efforts to reduce the number of illegal robocalls being received by their constituents, including more outright blocking of calls.

The state AGs — 51 of them — submitted their letter as a comment to proposals initiated by the FCC to expand rules related to how illegal robocalls are identified and blocked.

Among the proposals endorsed by the AGs in their letter — a copy of which can be accessed by clicking here — were to expand the STIR/SHAKEN authentication protocols to “intermediate” phone providers in the United States. Currently, only the originators of calls are required to authenticate traffic using STIR/SHAKEN. The AGs are also asking for carriers to respond to traceback requests within 24 hours, and blocking illegal traffic — “as soon as possible,” they wrote. The argument is that if everyone has to follow the same rules, it will be harder for bad actors to find loopholes or providers who are willing to help route illegal robocalls, the AGs claim.

Robocalls cost consumers, law enforcement, and the telecom industry more than $13 billion a year.

“Robocalls are a continued source of frustration for Illinoisans, and we must utilize every tool at our disposal to curb these calls that cost residents time and money,” said Illinois AG Kwame Raoul, in a statement. “I urge the FCC to adopt these expanded rules to ensure all telecommunications companies are working to reduce the number of fraudulent calls entering the United States.”

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