The Federal Communications Commission will discuss and vote on an order at its December meeting that would give wireless carriers the power to block all text messages from a particular number when notified by the Commission of illegal texts from that number and reinforce that the Do Not Call registry extends to text messages among other proposals.
The FCC’s December meeting will be held December 13.
The FCC is also seeking comment on a proposal to require or offer incentives to providers that block texts based on reasonable analytics. Similar standards are already in place for phone calls, the FCC noted, but the regulator has not yet addressed blocking text messages using similar tactics. The FCC is looking for comment on how to define “reasonable analytics” and whether other triggers — like the volume of texts being sent — should be used to identify bad traffic.
The FCC is also looking into creating an authentication process or protocol for text messaging, similar to the STIR/SHAKEN protocols that are in place for phone calls. There are some technological hurdles and differences that might make this unfeasible, the FCC noted, while adding that spoofing numbers when sending text messages is rare.
Extending the Do-Not-Call registry to text messages would be consistent with federal court opinions, deter illegal texts, and make enforcement easier, the FCC noted.
The FCC is also proposing making email-to-text services an opt-in arrangement as a way of reducing the number of fraudulent text messages that consumers receive.
If the FCC adopts the order, the proposed rule would then be made available for public comment.