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6 weeks ago by gizmomathboy
New law might finally stop all of those robocalls from reaching your iPhone | iMore
Goodbye robocalls. At least, we hope.
What you need to know
President Trump has signed a new law giving the FCC new powers against robocall abusers.
Titled the TRACED Act, the law increases penalties for offenders and allows prosecution by the Justice Department.
Carriers must also implement more advanced authentication and provide free call blocking services.
President Trump has signed a new law that looks to combat the robocalling industry and protect consumers against spam and fraud. The Pallone-Thune Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence, or TRACED Act, is legislation that has been anticipated for a while. Reported by AppleInsider, the legislation has received nearly unanimous support in both the House of Representatives and the Senate, and with the President's signature has now become law.
The office of White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham released a statement touting the legislation's advancements to protect consumers from robocalls and give the FCC more power to enforce the law.
"This historic legislation will provide American consumers with even greater protection against annoying unsolicited robocalls. American families deserve control over their communications, and this legislation will update our laws and regulations to stiffen penalties, increase transparency, and enhance government collaboration to stop unwanted solicitation. President Donald J. Trump is proud to have worked with Congress to get this bipartisan legislation to his desk, and even prouder to sign it into law today."
In practice, the law gives new power and authority to the Federal Communications Commission. The agency will now be able to fine robocall abusers up to $10,000 per call if they determine an offense. Going further, offenders may now also be prosecuted by the Justice Department.
robocalls  spam  telemarketing  telco  politics  privacy  FCC  gov2.0 
january 2020 by rgl7194
On the Trail of the Robocall King | WIRED
An investigator set out to discover the source of one scammy robocall. Turns out, his target made them by the millions.
Brad Young, a lawyer at TripAdvisor, arrived at the company’s offices in Needham, Massachusetts, on October 12, 2015, to find an email from his boss, Seth Kalvert, the company’s general counsel. In itself that wasn’t strange. As a travel site built on crowdsourced wisdom, where hundreds of millions of ordinary people post reviews and rate businesses, TripAdvisor is susceptible to fakery meant to inflate the ranking of a so-so restaurant or stain the reputation of a storied hotel. Young oversaw a group responsible for fending off these efforts, so he frequently got questions from Kalvert about con artists, cunning new deceits, and other shady corners of the law.
But this email was different. Kalvert’s wife had received a robocall offering an exclusive vacation deal as a reward for her loyal accumulation of “Trip­Advisor credits.” That would have been nice if TripAdvisor credits were a thing, but they weren’t. The call was also odd because TripAdvisor didn’t engage in telemarketing, much less robocalling. Kalvert wanted Young to look into it.
robocalls  spam  telemarketing  telco  politics  privacy  FCC  gov2.0 
january 2020 by rgl7194
The Scourge of Robocalls – On my Om
Wired recently chronicled the rise of robocalls. In the piece, you learn that Americans got “47.8 billion robocalls in 2018” or roughly “200 per year for every adult,” and in 2019, it looks like those numbers will be much higher. It is not going away. Much of it has been enabled by open source software, cheap calling and the rise of Voice over Internet Protocol. Nicholas Thompson, editor-in-chief of Wired, tweeted that one could fight robocalls by joining the Do Not Call registry, reporting spam calls to FCC, and getting an app that helps block the calls.
Unfortunately, as outlined in the Wired story, that doesn’t work.
“The technology has gotten so inexpensive that any person can become a robocaller overnight,” Ian Barlow, who coordinates the FTC’s Do Not Call program, told the magazine. “It’s easy, it’s accessible, and there are no barriers to entry.” If one robocall operation is shut down, many others pop up. So, it is no surprise that our phone numbers are being rendered worthless.
robocalls  spam  telemarketing  telco  politics  privacy  FCC  gov2.0 
january 2020 by rgl7194
Phone companies can block robocalls by default starting today, FCC says | Ars Technica
FCC changes robocall rules and urges carriers to step up call blocking.
The Federal Communications Commission today voted to let phone companies block robocalls by default even when consumers have not opted in to robocall-blocking services.
The FCC said it "approved a Declaratory Ruling to affirm that voice service providers may, as the default, block unwanted calls based on reasonable call analytics, as long as their customers are informed and have the opportunity to opt out of the blocking."
Phone providers already block robocalls on an opt-in basis, sometimes charging consumers for the blocking services. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai says the commission's rules were vague as to whether robocall blocking is legal on an opt-out basis but that today's ruling will fix that problem.
"Most importantly, we clarify that phone companies may immediately start offering call-blocking programs by default," Pai said at today's FCC meeting.
Deployment of call-blocking tools "has been limited because they're only being made available on an opt-in basis, and many of the consumers who would most benefit from these tools, such as elderly Americans, are unaware that they can opt in," he added.
robocalls  spam  telemarketing  telco  politics  privacy  FCC  gov2.0 
december 2019 by rgl7194
House passes TRACED Act to protect consumers from illegal robocalls | iMore
5.6 billion illegal calls were made to Americans in November alone...
What you need to know
The U.S. House of Representatives has approved an anti-robocall bill.
The bill, named the TRACED Act, was passed by 417 votes to 3.
It seeks to protect Americans from illegal robocalls.
The House of Representatives has passed an anti-robocall call bill designed to protect Americans from illegal robocalls.
As reported by The Hill, the TRACED Act was passed by a nearly unanimous vote of 417-3 on Wednesday, December 4. The bill is also supported by the Senate, and as such, it is expected to be signed into law by President Trump before the year is out.
The bill is sponsored by Senators Frank Pallone Jr. and John Thune, as such, it bears the name of both its sponsors in its full title, the Pallone-Thune Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence (TRACED) Act.
Speaking to the House floor on December 4, Pallone said:
"Today the House will take strong bipartisan action to protect consumers from illegal robocalls," Pallone said on the House floor Wednesday.
"A whopping 5.6 billion robocalls were made to Americans in November alone... Today, the House is giving Americans back control of their phones."
The bill will require phone companies to block robocalls without charging their customers extra, and require most US carriers to ensure any calls made come from real numbers. It will extend the time government regulators have to pin-down scammers and give them more aggressive powers to deal with culprits. The FCC will also be required to deliver reports to Congress about what action has been taken to deal with the illegal operations and to oversee a group of companies whose job it will be to investigate and determine where robocalls originate. It will also reportedly push the DoJ to take more frequent action against callers. According to the report, more than 49 billion robocalls have been placed in the US this year, often targeting establishments such as hospitals, hindering patient care.
According to reports, an amendment to the definition of a robocall did not make it into the final bill. The Senate is expected to vote on the bill either this week or next, and as mentioned it is reported that it already has the necessary backing.
robocalls  spam  telemarketing  telco  congress  politics  privacy  FCC  gov2.0 
december 2019 by rgl7194
Congress passes legislation expanding robocall penalties | Ars Technica
The TRACED Act passed the Senate unanimously and is headed to Trump's desk.
The US Senate unanimously passed legislation Thursday that aims to end the scourge of robocalls. The TRACED Act had already passed the House of Representatives, so it's now headed to President Donald Trump's desk for signature.
The new legislation allows federal authorities to seize the profits of robocall operators and assess an additional penalty of up to $10,000 per call. That's not actually new—current law already allows penalties of up to $10,000. What the new law does is extend the time period the FCC can assess these penalties from one year to three. It also pushes telephone companies to implement SHAKEN and STIR, a suite of authentication protocols that will help the fight against robocalls.
Currently, the American telephone system makes it easy for fraudsters to spoof caller-ID information on a phone call. That makes it difficult for providers to detect and block automated and fraudulent calls. SHAKEN and STIR are industry-developed standards that use public-key cryptography to allow phone networks to authenticate calls to one another, ensuring that caller ID information is accurate.
All year, the Federal Communications Commission has been pushing phone-service providers to adopt the standard. But some companies have lagged behind, and the FCC has not yet established a hard deadline for adopting the technology.
robocalls  spam  telemarketing  telco  congress  politics  privacy  FCC  gov2.0 
december 2019 by rgl7194
Daring Fireball: Robocall Fines Rise to $10,000 Per Call Under Newly Passed Law
Makena Kelly, reporting for The Verge:
The Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence Act, or the TRACED Act, empowers the federal government with new abilities to go after illegal robocallers. Once TRACED is enacted, the Federal Communications Commission could fine robocallers up to $10,000 per call. It also would require major carriers like AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile to deploy a new technology called STIR/SHAKEN into their networks, which will make it easier for consumers to know if they’re receiving a call from a spoofed number.
The House voted overwhelmingly to approve the measure earlier this month, and Thursday’s unanimous Senate vote means the bill only requires President Trump’s signature to become law. Rep. Mike Doyle (D-PA) said that the bill should be signed into law within the “next week or so.”
There aren’t many issues with overwhelming bipartisan support these days. Fury at robocalls is one of them.
robocalls  spam  telemarketing  congress  politics  privacy  daring_fireball  telco  FCC  gov2.0 
december 2019 by rgl7194
In 2019 Here's How To Stop And Block Robocalls, Spam, And Unknown Calls On iPhone, Android
Robocalls are at epidemic levels. Here's some ways to get a handle on them in the new year. And one way to stop them cold.
robocalls  privacy  block 
november 2019 by mifepba
The robocall crisis will never totally be fixed | Ars Technica
Like spam, we'll be able to manage it but not eliminate it.
Years into the robocalling frenzy, your phone probably still rings off the hook with "important information about your account," updates from the "Chinese embassy," and every bogus sweepstakes offer imaginable. That's despite promises from the telecom industry and the US government that solutions would be coming. Much like the firehose of spam that made email almost unusable in the late 1990s, robocalls have made people in the US wary of picking up their cell phones and landlines. In fact, email spam offers a useful analogy: a scourge that probably can't be eliminated but can be effectively managed.
Finding the right tools for that job remains a challenge. The Federal Trade Commission has had a strong track record in its 140 robocall-related suits, including a recent victory at the end of March that targeted four massive operations. Bipartisan anti-robocalling legislation is gaining traction in Congress. Apps that flag or block unwanted calls have matured and are solidly effective. And wireless carriers—in part facing pressure from the Federal Communications Commission—have increasingly offered their own anti-robocalling apps and tools for free.
Yet the number of robocalls continues to hit new highs. The anti-robocalling company YouMail estimates that March 2019 saw 5.23 billion robocalls, the highest volume ever. And other firms recorded similar highs. But those numbers don't take into account calls that were successfully blocked. A more useful measure might be the number of complaints filed per month to the FCC and FTC, which remained mostly static in 2018 and the beginning of 2019.
spam  robocalls  telemarketing  gov2.0  privacy  telco  FCC 
november 2019 by rgl7194
RT : Don't forget to always report to your cell phone provider. I use AT&T, so I report them here:…
RoboCalls  from twitter_favs
october 2019 by oates
Who Owns Your Wireless Service? Crooks Do. — Krebs on Security
Incessantly annoying and fraudulent robocalls. Corrupt wireless company employees taking hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes to unlock and hijack mobile phone service. Wireless providers selling real-time customer location data, despite repeated promises to the contrary. A noticeable uptick in SIM-swapping attacks that lead to multi-million dollar cyberheists.
If you are somehow under the impression that you — the customer — are in control over the security, privacy and integrity of your mobile phone service, think again. And you’d be forgiven if you assumed the major wireless carriers or federal regulators had their hands firmly on the wheel.
No, a series of recent court cases and unfortunate developments highlight the sad reality that the wireless industry today has all but ceded control over this vital national resource to cybercriminals, scammers, corrupt employees and plain old corporate greed.
On Tuesday, Google announced that an unceasing deluge of automated robocalls had doomed a feature of its Google Voice service that sends transcripts of voicemails via text message.
Google said “certain carriers” are blocking the delivery of these messages because all too often the transcripts resulted from unsolicited robocalls, and that as a result the feature would be discontinued by Aug. 9. This is especially rich given that one big reason people use Google Voice in the first place is to screen unwanted communications from robocalls, mainly because the major wireless carriers have shown themselves incapable or else unwilling to do much to stem the tide of robocalls targeting their customers.
AT&T in particular has had a rough month. In July, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of AT&T customers in California to stop the telecom giant and two data location aggregators from allowing numerous entities — including bounty hunters, car dealerships, landlords and stalkers — to access wireless customers’ real-time locations without authorization.
wireless  security  privacy  krebs  robocalls  crime  scam  gov2.0  politics  telco  telemarketing  SIM_swap  data  FCC 
august 2019 by rgl7194
Government Cracks Down on Robocalls
The Federal Trade Commission has been tackling the plague of robocalls for a long time and has had victories against this menace in the past. Now, a new report demonstrates that their initiative has had even more successful results. The program has been taking aim at robocallers and reminding them that their actions are illegal, especially if they are calling consumers who have placed their numbers on the national Do Not Call registry.
Operation Call It Quits
Operation Call It Quits has already resulted in action against 94 separate robocallers, many of whom were fronting for other businesses and contacting people on the Do Not Call registry. These groups were responsible for more than one billion robocalls in the U.S., ranging from credit card offers to utility companies. The FTC has initiated 145 cases against these callers.
“We are all fed up with the tens of billions of illegal robocalls we get every year,” said Andrew Smith, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, in a press release on the program. “Today’s joint effort shows that combatting this scourge remains a top priority for law enforcement agencies around the nation.”
While robocalls are certainly annoying, with some households receiving multiple calls per day at inopportune hours, a lot of people do not realize the danger that some of these calls present. Scams and bogus offers have been associated with robocalls, especially ones that pose as credit card, medical health coverage and utility offers.
Tracking down and stopping the robocallers is only one part of Operation Call It Quits. The initiative also gives these tips on how to respond to unknown or unwanted phone calls:
gov2.0  politics  robocalls  scam 
july 2019 by rgl7194

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