A coalition of attorneys general from all 50 states and a dozen telecommunications companies is taking steps to fight illegal and unwanted robocalls, with Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill leading the effort. Hill says the Robocall Technologies Working Group has agreed to adopt eight principles to fight the unwanted calls, which would protect phone users and make prosecution easier.
“Collaboration will be a key component of our success going forward in stopping illegal robocalls. I am eager to continue working with our state, federal, and private-sector partners to improve the lives of all our citizens,” said Hill.
Under this pact, the twelve companies, including AT & T, Comcast and Sprint, are supposed to communicate with the attorneys general to optimize robocall protections as technology and scammer techniques change and improve.
“I hope that all parts of the telecommunication industry, both large and small, will commit to rapidly implementing these principles and work with state and federal authorities to make people want to answer their phone again without fear of being defrauded or annoyed," said Henning Schulzrinne, Levi Professor of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering at Columbia University.
Below are the eight principles, Hill says, will help address the robocall problem through prevention and enforcement:
- Implementing call-blocking technology at the network level at no cost to customers.
- Making available to customers free, easy-to-use call blocking and labeling tools.
- Implementing technology to authenticate that calls are originating from a valid source.
- Monitoring their networks for robocall traffic.
- Knowing who their customers are so bad actors can be identified and investigated.
- Investigating and taking action against suspicious callers – including notifying law enforcement and state attorneys general.
- Working with law enforcement, including state attorneys general, to trace the origins of illegal robocalls.
- Requiring telephone companies with which they contract to cooperate in traceback identification.
“The challenge of tracking down robocallers has gotten harder as their techniques have gone higher-tech, but we are determined and we are making progress,” said Hill. To learn more about the anti-robocall effort, watch the video below.
In June, Attorney General Hill along with the Federal Trade Commission announced “Operation Call it Quits”, a new initiative involving more than two dozen federal, state and local agencies aimed at targeting robocall operations.