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Group Comments to the Federal Communications Commission on Caller ID Authentication and Robocall Blocking

Consumer Reports, National Consumer Law Center, on behalf of its low-income clients, Consumer Action, Consumer Federation of America, National Association of Consumer Advocates, and Public Knowledge submitted comments to the FCC, calling for effective protections from robocalls by default. To secure this, the FCC should:

  • Require phone companies to adopt effective call-authentication policies and technologies, at no additional line item charge to subscribers, by June 1, 2020;
    • Originating providers should be required to know who is placing the traffic and should decline traffic from bad actors;
    • For the majority of phone service providers who have the capability to implement SHAKEN/STIR, that technology should be implemented immediately;
    • For those providers who do not have that capacity, alternative techniques should be identified and applied on an expedited basis.
  • Require phone companies to provide three levels of call blocking options: opt-out screening of scam calls, opt-in to more comprehensive technologies to block spam calls, and personal blacklists, all at no additional line item charge to subscribers;
  • Develop policies for improperly blocked calls that leave call recipients in control, including limiting a “critical calls” whitelist to authenticated, genuine emergency calls only, and a separate unblocking system, created by the FCC, guided by a specific set of criteria, and paid for by the members of the calling industry who seek to benefit from using it.