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AG Nessel Urges the FCC to Require Telecom Crackdown on Spoofing and Illegal Robocalls

LANSING – Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel and 50 other Attorneys General today urged the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to encourage telecom providers to implement default call blocking technology and call authentication solutions to block illegal and unwanted robocalls, and to protect consumers from caller-ID spoofing.

The letter from the Attorneys General comes after the FCC issued a declaratory ruling and proposed new rules related to federal and industry efforts to block illegal robocalls and eliminate caller-ID spoofing. This effort comes following last week’s unveiling of the Anti-Robocall Principles to fight illegal and unwanted robocalls by the Attorneys General and 12 major telecom providers.

“The FCC is integral in holding telecom providers accountable,” said Nessel. “We hope that the FCC will heed our advice to protect consumers in Michigan and across the country from caller-ID spoofing and the flood of illegal and unwanted robocalls.” 

In their letter, the Attorneys General state that telecom providers should: 

  • Offer free, default call-blocking services to all customers based on reasonable analytics that do not block important calls such as emergency alerts or automated calls requested by customers;
  • Implement the caller-ID authentication technology – known as STIR/SHAKEN – which will help ensure telephone calls are originating from secure, verified numbers as quickly as possible;
  • Develop separate landline caller-ID authentication to prevent illegal and unwanted robocalls to seniors or those that live in rural areas; and,
  • Ensure that call blocking and call authentication efforts protect consumer data.

Many of these actions reflect the Anti-Robocall Principles established and released late last week by the Attorneys General along with AT&T, Bandwidth, CenturyLink, Charter, Comcast, Consolidated, Frontier, Sprint, T-Mobile, US Cellular, Verizon, and Windstream. These principles address illegal and unwanted robocalls through prevention and enforcement.

Attorney General Nessel joins 49 other state Attorneys General along with Washington, D.C. in submitting these comments.