The FCC is expected to vote on new rules against robocalling during its next open meeting on June 6. In the lead-up to that decision, the Senate has taken up one of its own to lay out the groundwork for how the FCC will carry out its intentions. The Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence (TRACED) Act passed yesterday by a vote of 97-1.
It was introduced by Sens. Senator John Thune (R-S.D.) and Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and generated bipartisan support from 83 co-sponsoring members by the time it came up for a final vote. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) was the sole 'nay' vote. Sens. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) and Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) did not vote.
The TRACED Act gives the FCC authority to require voice service providers to implement STIR/SHAKEN call authentication on their networks, create rules to ban number spoofing, and to fine those who violate robocall prohibitions up to $10,000 — the FCC and the Department of Justice will co-operate when pursuing charges against violators. The act also opens up a safe harbor for carriers if they inadvertently block a genuine call.
An equivalent bill in the House of Representatives has been referred to committee.