FCC Acting Chairwoman Circulates “Robotext” Proposal

October 19, 2021

Acting Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel announced today that she had circulated to her Commissioner colleagues “a proposed rulemaking that would require mobile wireless providers to block illegal text messaging….

According to the News Release, “[i]f adopted by a vote of the full Commission, the rulemaking would explore steps to protect consumers from illegal robotexts, including network-level blocking and applying caller authentication standards to text messaging.”

In conjunction with the announcement, the Acting Chairwoman commented: “In a world where so many of us rely heavily on texting to stay connected with our friends and family, ensuring the integrity of this communication is vitally important…We’ve seen a rise in scammers trying to take advantage of our trust of text messages by sending bogus robotexts that try to trick consumers to share sensitive information or click on malicious links. It’s time we take steps to confront this latest wave of fraud and identify how mobile carriers can block these automated messages before they have the opportunity to cause any harm.”

According to the News Release, “[i]n 2020 alone, the Commission received approximately 14,000 consumer complaints about unwanted text messages, representing an almost 146% increase from the number of complaints the year before. Thus far in 2021, the Commission has received over 9,800 consumer complaints about unwanted texts. Meanwhile, data from other sources reaffirm evidence of the problem. For example, RoboKiller reports 7.4 billion spam texts were sent in March 2021.”

TCPAWorld will be tracking the item as it progresses.

© Copyright 2021 Squire Patton Boggs (US) LLP
National Law Review, Volume XI, Number 292
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