Telecom’s, AGs Reach Deal on Robocalls

Fifty-one attorneys general and twelve major telephone companies have pledged to combat illegal robocalls by implementing call-blocking technology at no cost to consumers and a new caller identification protocol known as SHAKEN/STIR, acronyms for Signature-based Handling of Asserted Information Using toKENs (SHAKEN) and the Secure Telephone Identity Revisited (STIR) standards.

The framework is meant to target telephone number spoofing.

Mobile carriers, including AT&T, Comcast, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon, are among the companies to sign the pledge which outlines eight robocall protection principles. The agreement does not include an implementation deadline.

In June, the FCC proposed a rulemaking to require phone companies to adopt the framework. CUNA, along with several other trade organizations, recommended that the agency provide a safe harbor to those that implement a network-wide blocking of calls that fail caller authentication under the framework.

CUNA has actively worked with the FCC on efforts to modernize the Telephone Consumer Protection Act and will continue to share credit unions' concerns with Congress to ensure credit unions can contact their members without fear of frivolous litigation. 

The issue will be front and center during the NJCUL’s in-district meetings with members of the state’s congressional delegation, three of which are scheduled for next week: Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-9), Monday morning in Paterson; Rep. Tom Malinowski (D-7), Wednesday afternoon in Somerville; and Frank Pallone (D-6), Thursday morning in Long Branch.

Congressman Pallone chairs the House Energy and Commerce Committee which has jurisdiction over all telecommunications legislation. In February he introduced the Stopping Bad Robocalls Act (H.R. 946). Rep Pascrell is a cosponsor of the measure along with three other delegation members, Reps. Jeff Van Drew (D-2), Andy Kim (D-3) and Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-12).

The League schedules in-districts meetings with members of state’s congressional delegation to enable credit union advocates to meet with their representatives in Congress without having to travel to Washington. The meetings are open to all NJCUL member credit unions. Anyone interested in participating should contact NJCUL Vice President of Corporate & Governmental Affairs Chris Abeel at cabeel@njcul.org or 800-792-8861, ext. 127.