This week, Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody called on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to require telephone providers that route calls across the U.S. telephone network to implement more rigorous measures that prevent illegal and fraudulent robocalls from bombarding Americans.

Moody, along with 50 other attorneys general, replied to the FCC in support of the proposed rule changes.

“I am joining attorneys general from across the nation urging the FCC to strengthen federal rules to ensure gateway providers are doing everything they can to protect Americans from unlawful robocalls,” Moody said.

Illegal robocalls cost consumers, law enforcement and the telecom industry approximately $13.5 billion every year. Often, these calls originate from scam actors overseas who spoof American-based phone numbers. The FCC recently required the phone companies that let these calls onto the U.S. telephone network to do more to prevent these calls. The FCC is now proposing expanding many of these rules to those few phone companies that, although largely invisible to the public, are exclusively responsible for routing fraudulent and illegal calls across the U.S. phone network, regardless of where the calls originate.

The coalition of 51 attorneys general support the FCC’s proposal to extend the implementation of STIR/SHAKEN, a caller ID authentication technology that helps prevent spoofed calls, to all “intermediate” phone providers in the U.S. Right now, only providers that originate or terminate call traffic are required to implement STIR/SHAKEN. The coalition also calls on the FCC to require providers to adopt these protections and additional measures that will cut down on illegal and fraudulent robocalls, including responding to law enforcement traceback requests within 24 hours and blocking illegal traffic, as soon as possible. If all telecom companies have the same robocall mitigation practices, bad actors will not be able to exploit inconsistencies among providers and law enforcement will be better able to identify and prosecute the bad actors who try to profit from illegal robocalls.

Moody was joined in this comment letter by the attorneys general of the following states and territories: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Georgia, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

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