FCC orders phone companies to help trace illegal callers


The FCC was adopt more and more measures to fight robocalls and the latest a set of rules (PDF) that it implements include the limitation of calls, even non-telemarketing, to residential telephones. Non-commercial, commercial and non-profit organizations can now make up to three calls per residential number within 30 days and are required to allow recipients to opt out. The FCC had no limit on non-telemarketing calls before this change. In addition, the commission has introduced (PDF) new rules for voice service providers, who are now required to respond to requests for tracing of illegal call sources from the commission and law enforcement.

They are now also required to investigate illegal calls identified by the commission and take action to mitigate those calls if they come to the same conclusion. The FCC says carriers must “exercise due diligence to ensure that their services are not used to generate illegal traffic.” In addition to implementing these new rules, the FCC has expanded security ports for providers to eliminate legal liability for blocking calls at the network level. That said, providers should only target calls that are “highly likely to be illegal, not just unwanted” and should use human surveillance.

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