President Trump signs anti-robocall law

by Dr. Eowyn

The Hill reports that on Dec. 30, 2019, President Trump signed into law the Pallone-Thune Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence (TRACED) Act, a bill aimed at reducing the scourge of robocalls that plague  millions of Americans every year.

The bill was a rare bipartisan and bicameral feat for this Congress, where Democrats have chosen to spend their time, energy, and millions of taxpayer dollars on the baseless and fruitless “investigations” of President Trump, from the so-called Russian collusion to the present impeachment witchhunt.

In a statement, White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said Trump was “proud” to sign the TRACED Act, and that “This historic legislation will provide American consumers with even greater protection against annoying unsolicited robocalls. American families deserve control over their communications, and this legislation will update our laws and regulations to stiffen penalties, increase transparency, and enhance government collaboration to stop unwanted solicitation.”

Over the past several years, illegal robocalls have spiked enormously in the U.S. as scammers find new and cheap ways to dial up consumers en masse as they pry for sensitive personal information. The scammers, oftentimes located outside of the country, frequently target vulnerable populations as they ask for social security numbers, credit card information and more.

Although robocalls won’t disappear entirely, experts say we can expect to see a reduction in the billions of spam calls within six months because the TRACED Act will put the onus on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and phone companies to:

  • Require phone companies to block illegal robocalls without charging customers any extra money.
  • Require most carriers in the U.S. to ensure that calls are coming from real numbers.
  • Give government regulators more time to find scammers and penalize them more aggressively, increasing fines to $10,000 for illegal robocalling operations. 

See also “Why FTC’s Do Not Call registry doesn’t stop those annoying robo-calls — and how you can stop them!”.

~Eowyn