“TRACED” Act Passes U.S. Senate

By an overwhelming bi-partisan majority, the U.S. Senate has voted to approve legislation that would strengthen overall enforcement efforts to stop the spread of robocalls.

Originally sponsored by Senator John Thune (R-South Dakota), S.151, also known as the “Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence” (TRACED) Act, would implement forfeiture penalties for both intended and unintended violations of federal prohibitions against robocalls.

The Act would also require voice service providers to develop call authentication technologies that would more effectively block unwanted calls, and require the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to establish regulations as to when a service provider can legally block voice calls based on information provided by such authentication methods.

Finally, the TRACED Act would require the FCC and the U.S. Department of Justice to form an interagency workgroup that would investigate more effective methods and policies for combatting the spread of robocalls.

Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) was the only senator present who voted “nay” on the proposed legislation.

The TRACED Act now goes to the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce, where passage is anticipated.

Read the complete text of the TRACED Act as approved by the U.S. Senate.

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