On Monday, Attorney General Curtis Hill urged the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to encourage telecom companies to implement call blocking and call authentication solutions that would protect consumers from illegal robocalls and spoofing. Yesterday’s comment letter to the FCC comes after Attorney General Hill last week led a coalition of 51 attorneys general and 12 phone companies in unveiling the Anti-Robocall Principles to fight illegal robocalls.
In comments to the FCC, the coalition of attorneys general states that telecom providers should:
Offer free, automatic call-blocking services to all customers. The call-block services should be based on reasonable analytics and should not block important calls, including emergency alerts or automated calls for which customers have signed up (such as medical reminders).
Monitor network traffic to identify patterns consistent with robocalls and take action to cut off the calls or notify law enforcement.
Implement certain caller ID call authentication technologies that help ensure that telephone calls are originating from secure, verified numbers rather than spoofed sources. The coalition supports the FCC’s proposal to take regulatory action against telecom companies that do not implement the specified technologies.
Develop caller ID authentication to prevent robocalls to landline telephones. This is particularly urgent because many people victimized by robocall scammers are elderly consumers or live in rural areas, meaning they are more likely to use landline technology.
Many of these actions are also covered in the Anti-Robocall Principles, a set of eight principles focused on addressing illegal robocalls through prevention and enforcement. Twelve phone companies, including Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint, have already signed on to the principles.
Attorney General Hill is joined in signing these comments by attorneys general from all 49 other states and Washington, D.C.