Bill passed to stop robocalls

The House of Representatives passed the Stopping Bad Robocalls Act on Wednesday by a vote of 429 to 3. 

The bill would require the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to update its definition of robocalls, ensuring that organisations gain consent from customers before using robocalls to contact them. 

Additionally, the bill would require all carriers to deploy call authentication technologies like SHAKEN/STIR to combat robocalls, as well as technologies to prevent call spoofing.

At no extra line-item charge to consumers, the bill would also ensure that carriers block robocalls by default. 

The FCC would also be required to impose tougher penalties of up to $10,000, and the Justice Department are encouraged to stronger prosecute unlawful robocallers. 

Carriers have been showing support to the bill with Verizon’s senior vice president of federal legislative affairs, Robert Fisher, saying, “Enough is enough – it’s time for Americans to hang up on abusive robocallers once and for all.”

In a joint statement, Pallone and Rep. Greg Walden, Energy and Commerce ranking member, and Congressmen Mike Doyle and Bob Latta – the chairman and ranking member of the Communications and Technology Subcommittee, respectively, explained that the vote was aimed at restoring “Americans’ confidence in the telephone system and put consumers back in charge of their phones.”

“We’re proud of the strong support and bipartisan Stopping Bad Robocalls Act received this afternoon and look forward to working with our colleagues in the Senate to produce a bill that the President can sign into law. The American people are counting on us to help end the robocall epidemic, and we deliver for them.”

The bill will now proceed to the Senate. 

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