Dem senators call on FCC to protect against robocalls

Dem senators call on FCC to protect against robocalls
© Keren Carrion

A group of 15 Democratic senators are urging the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to take further action in stopping automated solicitation calls, or robocalls.

“In an era when the onslaught of unwanted and abusive robocalls is on the rise, we are concerned that the absence of these core protections could result in even more invasive calls and texts,” the senators wrote in a letter to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai.

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Their letter comes after a D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling last month that struck down portions of the FCC’s Telephone Consumer Protections Act. The regulation restricted robocallers' ability to indiscriminately call millions of consumers.

Lawmakers expressed concern that the decision might harm consumer protections against robocalls and called on the FCC to do its part to restrict them following the D.C. court’s decision.

“Without swift and robust action by the FCC to ensure these sensible protections are in place, consumers may lose the right to both provide and revoke consent, subjecting them to a deluge of unwanted calls and texts,” they wrote.

Politicians' concern around robocalls stems from the fact that many people see the calls, which are usually soliciting business, as a nuisance. In some cases though, the impacts can be worse for vulnerable groups like the elderly who are often the targets of robocalls. 

The senators included their own proposals for the FCC to consider, including bolstering do-not-call protections and establishing strong provisions for consumers to opt in and out of receiving such calls.

The FCC has taken action on the matter over the past year, handing a record $120 million dollar fine to one Florida man who made almost 100 million robocalls

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