On June 22, 2017, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) issued a first-of-its-kind Notice of Apparent Liability (NAL) alleging that Adrian Abramovich, through numerous companies that he owned or operated, violated the Truth in Caller ID Act by placing more than 95 million robocalls to consumers while “knowingly causing the display of inaccurate caller ID information.”  The NAL proposes fines totaling $120 million, and seeks to hold Mr. Abramovich personally liable for the full amount.  Separately, the Commission released a citation against Mr. Abramovich on the same day for alleged violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act and the federal wire fraud statute.

Continue Reading June 2017 FCC Meeting Recap: FCC Proposes $120 Million Fine for Alleged “Spoofed Robocall Campaign”

On Wednesday, May 17, 2017, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or the Commission) published in the Federal Register a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) which aims to develop rules and solutions to reduce the number of illegal robocalls placed to consumers.  The NPRM was adopted at the Commission’s March open meeting.

Continue Reading Deadlines Set for Robocall NPRM

On September 30th, the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) released a brief Public Notice in which it clarified that telephone service providers (including traditional, wireless and VoIP providers) are permitted to block calls from a particular phone number if the subscriber to that phone number

Implementing the Truth in Caller ID Act passed last December, the FCC adopted rules prohibiting the fraudulent manipulation of caller ID information.  These so-called anti-"spoofing" rules track the statutory language to prohibit any person from "knowingly transmit[ing] misleading or inaccurate caller identification information with the intent to defraud, cause harm, or wrongfully obtain anything of value."  The Commission also released a report to Congress recommending additional legislative changes to strengthen the spoofing protections.


Continue Reading FCC Adopts Anti-Spoofing Rules Implementing Truth In Caller ID Act

As we’ve noted previously, the U.S. Department of Justice has urged the FCC to take an expansive interpretation of the Truth in Caller ID Act of 2009.  In comments filed last week, the Department continued its effort to have the FCC apply the rules to VoIP providers, including those not subject to any FCC rules today.

Last week brought new actions in three of the FCC’s most common enforcement areas:  Failure to pay USF contributions, "robocall" telemarketing violations and "junk fax" solicitations.  One action also is an example of anti-spoofing enforcement by the Commission.  The Commission’s actions are briefly described below.


Continue Reading FCC Takes Enforcement Action in USF, Telemarketing and “Junk Fax” Cases

In response to the passage of anti-spoofing legislation late last year, the FCC recently adopted a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to tighten rules relating to the "spoofing" of caller ID information.  The Commission is seeking comments in late April and early May, which would make it tough for the Commission to meet the legislation’s six-month deadline for the adoption of implementing rules.

The NPRM contains a surprising proposal to bypass the ordinary enforcement processes the Commission uses.  See below for that and other highlights of the proposal.


Continue Reading FCC Opens Spoofing Proceeding

In late December, Congress passed new Anti-Spoofing legislation.  As we told you at the time, the Act requires the FCC to enact implementing regulations within 6 months.  In anticipation of that rulemaking, the U.S. Department of Justice’s Criminal Division submitted a letter to the FCC with its recommendations for the regulations.

The DOJ letter is described in more detail below.  Most notably, DOJ recommends verification obligations be imposed on providers of spoofing services and proposes an expansive definition of "IP-enabled Voice Service" that would impose obligations on services heretofore not subject to FCC regulations.  If the FCC agrees, new classes of entities would be subject to compliance obligations relating to Caller ID spoofing.


Continue Reading US Department of Justice Recommends Anti-Spoofing Rules to FCC

Two developments last month portend a more difficult time for entities "spoofing" caller ID information.  On December 22, President Obama signed into law the Truth in Caller ID Act of 2009 [sic], which makes it unlawful for a person to transmit misleading or inaccurate caller ID information with an intent to defraud.  In addition, the FTC is seeking comment on rule changes to strengthen the caller ID provisions of its Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR). 

Descriptions of both developments are provided below.


Continue Reading Rules Against Caller ID Spoofing to Tighten