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FCC Inks Robocall Mou with Australian Counterpart

In furtherance of a global effort to combat illegal robocalls, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Australia Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) to “work together to develop and coordinate a global approach to addressing unlawful robocalls or robotexts, and the unlawful use of inaccurate caller ID information or ‘spoofing.’”  https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DOC-372981A1.pdf

According to the FCC’s News Release, the MOU on “‘Mutual Assistance in the Enforcement of Laws on Certain Unlawful Communications’ agreement will foster the countries’ exchange of information for the purpose of enforcing and securing compliance with anti-robocalling and spoofing laws.”  The Agreement was executed by Acting FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel and ACMA Chair and Agency Head Nerida O’Loughlin.

The MOU (https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DOC-372922A1.pdf) “sets forth the Participants’ intent with regard to mutual assistance and the exchange of information for the purpose of enforcing and securing compliance with Covered Violations.” The term Covered Violations is defined to include “practices that would, based on available information, violate or likely violate the Applicable Laws of one Participant’s country and that are substantially similar to practices prohibited by any provision of the Applicable Law of the other Participant’s country.”

Applicable Laws that fall within the scope of the MOU include the following:

  • Federal Communications Commission:

    • Communications Act of 1934, 47 U.S.C. §§ 151-155, 227

    • Telephone Consumer Protection Act and the Truth in Caller ID Act, 47 U.S.C. § 227

    • Federal Communications Commission Rules, 47 CFR §§ 0.111(a)(24); 64.1200; 64.1600(e)

    • The Privacy Act of 1974, as amended, 5 U.S.C. §552a

    • The Freedom of Information Act, as amended, 5 U.S.C. § 552.

  • Australian Communications and Media Authority:

    • Australian Communications and Media Authority Act 2005

    • Do Not Call Register Act 2006

    • Spam Act 2003

    • Telecommunications Act 1997

Could this be a model for similar bilateral agreements going forward? We will see.

© Copyright 2023 Squire Patton Boggs (US) LLPNational Law Review, Volume XI, Number 155

About this Author

Paul Besozzi Telecommunications Attorney Squire Patton Boggs Washington DC
Senior Partner

Paul Besozzi concentrates his practice in the wireless, broadband and emerging technology areas. His extensive experience of more than 30 years in the telecommunications field includes regulatory, transactional, legislative and litigation matters for clients ranging from wireless service and infrastructure providers to resellers of long-distance service, including cellular, personal communications services, specialized mobile radio, point-to-point microwave, advanced wireless services and other emerging wireless technologies.

Paul represents clients before the federal and state...