US Senate greenlights anti-robocalling bill to combat 'daily deluge'

Posted:
in iPhone
The U.S. Senate voted 97 to 1 on Thursday to move forward with the TRACED Act, intended to fight a surge of robocalls, in some cases harassing people multiple times per day.

iPhone spam


The legislation would create an interagency task force, hike fines the Federal Communications Commission can level against offenders, and extend the statute of limitations on penalties, The Verge said. The bill was introduced by Senators John Thune (R-SD) and Ed Markey (D-MA).

Perhaps most significantly the bill would pressure U.S. carriers to deploy call authentication systems such as STIR/SHAKEN. That technology marks genuine callers as "verified," allowing people to block or ignore anyone else.

The U.S. was bombarded with some 48 billion robocalls in 2018. The problem has become epidemic, particularly with the rise of "neighbor" scams that disguise calls as coming from a person's local area code.

iPhones already have call blocking and ID features as of iOS 10, and other countermeasures are available, but the former require downloading third-party apps and aren't 100 percent effective. Apple is working to bring STIR/SHAKEN to iPhones in the future.

The TRACED Act will still have to survive the House of Representatives to become law. There are already a variety of other anti-robocalling bills awaiting votes.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 25
    rgh71rgh71 Posts: 111member
     Who is the a-hole that voted against this? 
    StrangeDaysdysamoriazroger73dewmechasmsportyguy209sergiozbadmonk
  • Reply 2 of 25
    bsbeamerbsbeamer Posts: 27member
    rgh71 said:
     Who is the a-hole that voted against this? 
    https://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=116&session=1&vote=00127

    Did note vote: Inhofe (R-OK), Rounds (R-SD)
    Voted NAY: Paul (R-KY)

    StrangeDaysdysamoriadewmechasmkuraibadmonk
  • Reply 3 of 25
    macseekermacseeker Posts: 431member
    rgh71 said:
     Who is the a-hole that voted against this? 
    Hope this helps: https://trackbill.com/bill/us-congress-senate-bill-151-traced-act/1635649/
    kurai
  • Reply 4 of 25
    sdw2001sdw2001 Posts: 17,036member
    rgh71 said:
     Who is the a-hole that voted against this? 

    I just looked it up.  It was Rand Paul, which is who I suspected.   I don't think he's made a statement on it yet, but he will often vote against things based on his views on government power. 
  • Reply 5 of 25
    sdw2001sdw2001 Posts: 17,036member
    Meanwhile, robocallers everywhere are gearing up to lobby the House not pass the bill   :D
    dysamoriamacseekerjeffharris
  • Reply 6 of 25
    flydogflydog Posts: 281member
    This bill is a piece of crap, and will work about as the do-not-call list in curbing robocalls.  All 98 votes should have been against, but 97 voted aye because the bill gives the appearance to voters that congress is doing something about the problem. 

    The FCC already has the ability to penalize robocallers, and all this does is increase the penalties.  The FCC has been completely ineffective, and raising civil penalties will do nothing because robocallers are often foreign entities, can't be located, or couldn't care less about civil penalties.  

    In addition, the bill:
    • does not require carriers to implement STIR/SHAKEN for 18 months, giving robocallers plenty of time to find a workaround 
    • gives carriers a means to obtain exemptions and extension to STIR/SHAKEN implementation
    • does not provide for private right of action against robocallers, which means FCC is the only means of enforcement 
    • does not impose any criminal penalties for spoofing a phone number, nor criminalize robocalls
    • does not require carriers to give consumers the means to block anonymous calls
    • does not fix any of the existing problems with the Do Not Call List
    What Congress should have done is give consumers the right to sue scumbags who send unsolicited texts and make unsolicited calls, require carriers to immediately give consumers the ability to block anonymous or fake numbers, and criminalize violations of the Do Not Call list.  But that will never happen.
    edited May 23 StrangeDaysdysamorialoquiturdewmekestraltommikelechasmGG1sdw2001entropys
  • Reply 7 of 25
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 7,632member
    sdw2001 said:
    rgh71 said:
     Who is the a-hole that voted against this? 

    I just looked it up.  It was Rand Paul, which is who I suspected.   I don't think he's made a statement on it yet, but he will often vote against things based on his views on government power. 
    But but but the free market...the free market will solve all our problems! /s

    Yeah I get these calls every single day. Multiple calls a day. Often with my local area code and even some variation of my own number. I have ATT’s Call Protect service but it doesn’t help much. It also incorrectly blocks merchants I want to call me, like Capital One and Apple. 

    I don’t even answer the phone now unless it’s a contact. 
    flyingdptokyojimujeffharriskurai
  • Reply 8 of 25
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 2,152member
    sdw2001 said:
    rgh71 said:
     Who is the a-hole that voted against this? 

    I just looked it up.  It was Rand Paul, which is who I suspected.   I don't think he's made a statement on it yet, but he will often vote against things based on his views on government power. 
    Because capitalism and capitalists regulate themselves so well... Proven by how USELESS telephones are now for phone calls thanks to dialer abuse and phone scams. </s>
  • Reply 9 of 25
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 2,152member
    flydog said:
    This bill is a piece of crap, and will work about as the do-not-call list in curbing robocalls.  All 98 votes should have been against, but 97 voted aye because the bill gives the appearance to voters that congress is doing something about the problem. 

    The FCC already has the ability to penalize robocallers, and all this does is increase the penalties.  The FCC has been completely ineffective, and raising civil penalties will do nothing because robocallers are often foreign entities, can't be located, or couldn't care less about civil penalties.  

    In addition, the bill:
    • does not require carriers to implement STIR/SHAKEN for 18 months, giving robocallers plenty of time to find a workaround 
    • gives carriers a means to obtain exemptions and extension to STIR/SHAKEN implementation
    • does not provide for private right of action against robocallers, which means FCC is the only means of enforcement 
    • does not impose any criminal penalties for spoofing a phone number, nor criminalize robocalls
    • does not require carriers to give consumers the means to block anonymous calls
    • does not fix any of the existing problems with the Do Not Call List
    What Congress should have done is give consumers the right to sue scumbags who send unsolicited texts and make unsolicited calls, require carriers to immediately give consumers the ability to block anonymous or fake numbers, and criminalize violations of the Do Not Call list.  But that will never happen.
    I agree with all of this. I came here to comment about how utterly toothless and ineffective this bill is.
    flydogflyingdpchasmentropyskuraijony0
  • Reply 10 of 25
    JWSCJWSC Posts: 438member
    I get ‘em all the time as I imagine most people do.  Local spoofing has gotten stupid though.  I get calls on my personal iPhone that appear to be coming from my work iPhone.  This particular spoof has happened 3 times to my recollection.  Once when this happened I held them up side by side for my office buddies to see.  They were incredulous.
  • Reply 11 of 25
    mike1mike1 Posts: 1,886member
    JWSC said:
    I get ‘em all the time as I imagine most people do.  Local spoofing has gotten stupid though.  I get calls on my personal iPhone that appear to be coming from my work iPhone.  This particular spoof has happened 3 times to my recollection.  Once when this happened I held them up side by side for my office buddies to see.  They were incredulous.
    I got a call from my own number on that same phone.
  • Reply 12 of 25
    dewmedewme Posts: 2,071member
    flydog said:
    This bill is a piece of crap, and will work about as the do-not-call list in curbing robocalls.  All 98 votes should have been against, but 97 voted aye because the bill gives the appearance to voters that congress is doing something about the problem. 

    The FCC already has the ability to penalize robocallers, and all this does is increase the penalties.  The FCC has been completely ineffective, and raising civil penalties will do nothing because robocallers are often foreign entities, can't be located, or couldn't care less about civil penalties.  

    In addition, the bill:
    • does not require carriers to implement STIR/SHAKEN for 18 months, giving robocallers plenty of time to find a workaround 
    • gives carriers a means to obtain exemptions and extension to STIR/SHAKEN implementation
    • does not provide for private right of action against robocallers, which means FCC is the only means of enforcement 
    • does not impose any criminal penalties for spoofing a phone number, nor criminalize robocalls
    • does not require carriers to give consumers the means to block anonymous calls
    • does not fix any of the existing problems with the Do Not Call List
    What Congress should have done is give consumers the right to sue scumbags who send unsolicited texts and make unsolicited calls, require carriers to immediately give consumers the ability to block anonymous or fake numbers, and criminalize violations of the Do Not Call list.  But that will never happen.
    Thanks for providing the necessary context. I'm sure every single one 97 do-nothing spineless wonders who's on the ballot in the next election cycle will tout their "I fought to protect hard working Americans from getting deluged by invasive robocalls... blah blah blah. Vote for me" mantra. Who voted for these useless seat warmers anyway? Oh, we did. Sorry. 
  • Reply 13 of 25
    sdw2001 said:
    rgh71 said:
     Who is the a-hole that voted against this? 

    I just looked it up.  It was Rand Paul, which is who I suspected.   I don't think he's made a statement on it yet, but he will often vote against things based on his views on government power. 
    But but but the free market...the free market will solve all our problems! /s

    Yeah I get these calls every single day. Multiple calls a day. Often with my local area code and even some variation of my own number. I have ATT’s Call Protect service but it doesn’t help much. It also incorrectly blocks merchants I want to call me, like Capital One and Apple. 

    I don’t even answer the phone now unless it’s a contact. 
    The first company, Apple or Google, to be able to block them will sell a lot of devices l, so yes the free market is FAR more effective then worthless bureaucrats sucking up taxpayers dollars. 
    entropys
  • Reply 14 of 25
    macseekermacseeker Posts: 431member
    sdw2001 said:
    Meanwhile, robocallers everywhere are gearing up to lobby the House not pass the bill   :D
    This post won the thread award.
  • Reply 15 of 25
    tommikeletommikele Posts: 262member
    Nice idea. Pathetic execution. This bill has no teeth and will not actually change a thing. When the article said "Perhaps most significantly the bill would pressure U.S. carriers to deploy call authentication systems" a little red light went off. What exactly does "pressure" mean? It doesn't mean they have to. It doesn't mean they can be forced. Enforcement is a joke. Who is going to do that? The FCC? Ajit Pai? The current administration?Hahahahahaha.
  • Reply 16 of 25
    chasmchasm Posts: 1,545member
    Once again, this is Congress pretending to do something rather than actually doing something. Kudos to Flydog for ripping the façade off this charade. The choke point here is bought-and-paid-for FCC Chair Ajit Pai -- it's literally his job to stop this, but he too is punting, spinning and otherwise not even paying much lip service to the problem, let alone actually taking any action. What a sellout.
    entropysbeowulfschmidtroundaboutnow
  • Reply 17 of 25
    GG1GG1 Posts: 256member
    mike1 said:
    JWSC said:
    I get ‘em all the time as I imagine most people do.  Local spoofing has gotten stupid though.  I get calls on my personal iPhone that appear to be coming from my work iPhone.  This particular spoof has happened 3 times to my recollection.  Once when this happened I held them up side by side for my office buddies to see.  They were incredulous.
    I got a call from my own number on that same phone.
    I did, also. Freaky to see.

    And while in Asia on business, I got a spam call (with voicemail) in that Asian country using the correct Asian country code and phone number! It was a normal spam call I get in the USA, just purported to be from that Asian country. So that implies to me that T-Mobile USA either leaks my location continuously (by selling/trading it) or is hacked for this info.

    We really need STIR/SHAKEN NOW.

    Edit: Flydog's info says that STIR/SHAKEN is already neutered by this bill.
    edited May 23
  • Reply 18 of 25
    LordeHawkLordeHawk Posts: 155member
    dysamoria said:
    sdw2001 said:
    rgh71 said:
     Who is the a-hole that voted against this? 

    I just looked it up.  It was Rand Paul, which is who I suspected.   I don't think he's made a statement on it yet, but he will often vote against things based on his views on government power. 
    Because capitalism and capitalists regulate themselves so well... Proven by how USELESS telephones are now for phone calls thanks to dialer abuse and phone scams. </s>
    The overwhelming majority of technological innovation stems from private industry, that is capitalism.  Almost all  robocalls originate outside of the US and then rerouted by a bad actor.  The calls use VOIP protocols and almost impossible to trace to the real origin.

    Not a very helpful bill, wouldn’t want to upset or inconvenience the carriers.  
    sdw2001
  • Reply 19 of 25
    sdw2001sdw2001 Posts: 17,036member
    dysamoria said:
    sdw2001 said:
    rgh71 said:
     Who is the a-hole that voted against this? 

    I just looked it up.  It was Rand Paul, which is who I suspected.   I don't think he's made a statement on it yet, but he will often vote against things based on his views on government power. 
    Because capitalism and capitalists regulate themselves so well... Proven by how USELESS telephones are now for phone calls thanks to dialer abuse and phone scams. </s>
    Capitalism regulates itself better than any other system.  My point was Paul is more of a libertarian and holds a highly skeptical and cautious view of Federal authority.  
    entropys
  • Reply 20 of 25
    22july201322july2013 Posts: 670member
    flydog said:
    raising civil penalties will do nothing because robocallers are often foreign entities, can't be located, or couldn't care less about civil penalties.  
    I hope you also understand that for this reason the recent agreement by telcos to not sell your location data is equally useless. Foreign entities have access to your location data via the international SS7 network.
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