US States AGs Compel FCC Investigate ‘Spoofing’ Robocalls

In Decenternet, General, News

The entire neighborhood is going crazy from the spoofing calls that circulate their areas and is calling on the Federal Communications Commission to take some action.

On Tuesday, a coalition of state attorneys general spearheaded by Pennsylvania AG Josh Shapiro urged the FCC to establish new rules enabling telephone service providers to stymie more established illicit robocalls that greatly affect unwary households not only in Pennsylvania but across the country as well. Based on their observation, the robocall issue seems to be getting worse even after the  2017 Call Blocking Order.

“I’m taking new action with my colleagues to continue the fight to protect Pennsylvanians and Americans from these bothersome and illegal robocall scams, which are used to scam seniors and other vulnerable populations. As attorney general, I take seriously my role to protect consumers from scams of all kinds. The FCC should create new rules to let telephone service providers block more types of illegal robocalls,” Pennsylvania AG Josh Shapiro said.

In New York, AG Barbara Underwood said that unsolicited calls are not only a vexation but also a way for scammers to prey on unwary New Yorkers. The residents have been plagued with illegal robocall rip-offs. These also include all-too-common spoofed calls that make households think the calls just came from a neighbor.

The new proposal will provide telecom companies with the authority to validate legal calls and determine unlawful spoofed calls so it could be intercepted. Likewise, the concept will authorize the communication providers to utilize new technology to expose and bar felonious spoofed calls regardless if phone numbers are legitimate or not. “Spoofing” gives scammers the opportunity to cover up their distinctiveness. The service providers are slated to release the new verification standard next year.

Last November, the FCC implemented a couple of robocalls rules that enabled telecom firms to practically impede calls whether from invalid or legitimate phone numbers. Amendments to the rules could help alleviate “spoofed” calls from phone numbers with the exact area code as the phone line owner, or even calls from the owner’s own number.

The attorneys general suggested that the telecom industry and the government need to collaborate with each other to counter the issue. They said that no one tool or measure could solve the problem unless both parties work together. Using every tool at their disposal, they anticipate eliminating the disgusting disturbance on the consumers’ subsistence.

Last year, the Federal Trade Commission gathered 4.5 million grievances regarding annoying robocalls. The latest official comment that was released suggests that reports show that approximately 30.5 billion illegitimate robocalls are made to wired and wireless phones in 2017. The Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General’s Bureau of Consumer Protection acquired more than a thousand complaints annually related to illegal calls, constituting scam calls, telemarketing accusations, and robocalls.

Nuisance robocalls are indeed aggravating and bothersome just like the robocalls made by telecom companies opposed to the restoration of net neutrality. In September of this year, California residents received robocalls, mostly seniors, stating that their phone bills will increase by $30 every month if Senate Bill 822 becomes a law which is ambiguous. It is likely that their phone bills will indeed increase because of the unacceptable practices by shrewd telecom and wireless companies.

There was even an instance that a telecom company itself orders its employees to oppose the net neutrality regulation that protects the consumers when they themselves are considered consumers of the company’s service as well. Frontier Communications West Region Senior VP Joe Gamble sent the instructions to his employees through an email stating that SB 822 is a threat not only to the company but its employees as well.

Using the Decenternet platform can help alleviate the difficulty of using the internet in the absence of net neutrality protections. Unlike other websites, Decenternet provides an unrestricted access to both decentralized and centralized network allowing consumers to have an open communication online whenever and wherever.

It does not block or throttle contents that major ISPs do and does not engage in paid prioritization. Aside from empowering and enabling the consumers’ free speech, it also counteracts issues related to data security and privacy.

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