Wasden urges Congress to take action against robocalls

Posted at 10:00 AM, Mar 07, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-10 01:06:33-05

BOISE — Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden this week urged the U.S. Senate to enact the Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence Act, also known as the TRACED Act. The legislation would curb illegal robocalls and spoofing.

A coalition of 54 attorneys general sent a letter to the U. S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation in support of the legislation. The bipartisan proposal is sponsored by Senators John Thune (R-SD) and Ed Markey (D-MA).

“These maddening calls represent a technological plague that seemingly affects everyone with a phone,” Wasden said. “But technology exists to fight back, and we should do everything we can to use it. The TRACED Act would do just that, and I urge federal lawmakers to support this legislation.”

If passed and signed into law, the TRACED Act would require voice service providers to participate in a call authentication framework to help block unwanted calls. It would also create an interagency working group to take additional actions to reduce robocalls -- and hold telemarketers and robo-callers accountable.

More than 48 billion robocalls were made in 2018, making them the number one source of consumer complaints to the Federal Trade Commission and the Federal Communications Commission, experts said. The calls also resulted in millions of dollars in consumer losses.

Attorneys representing all 50 states, as well as Washington D.C., Guam, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands signed the letter.