TCPA Regulatory Update — Commission Seeks Input on Protective Order for Robocall Mitigation Database
The Commission released a Public Notice seeking comment on a proposed protective order for confidential information submitted to the Commission’s Robocall Mitigation Database (“RMD”). The RMD is a part of the Commission’s efforts to implement the TRACED Act and to require voice service providers to combat illegal robocalls on their networks. The Commission requires, among other things, that by June 30, 2021, all voice service providers submit certifications that they comply with STIR/SHAKEN protocols or if they don’t, detailing their efforts to stop illegal robocall traffic on their networks.
On May 10, recognizing that the RMD is a public database where providers may be submitting sensitive information, the Commission sought comment on a proposal to adopt a protective order and confidential filing procedures that would simplify the submission of, while still protecting, providers’ sensitive information in the RMD. The Commission’s proposal would streamline the process of filing confidential information in the RMD by directing voice service providers to file a request for confidentiality in the Commission’s Electronic Comment Filing System (“ECFS”) and then submit both their redacted and un-redacted but confidential or highly confidential documents directly to the RMD rather than through ECFS. Then, to safeguard the sensitive information, the Commission proposes to limit the categories of entities and individuals that would have access to those sensitive filings. For example, for a voice service provider seeking to review another provider’s confidential submissions, the Commission proposes to limit access to the requesting party’s outside counsel or consultants. The Commission also proposes to require any entity, other than support personnel, seeking to review the submissions, to sign and date an acknowledgement of confidentiality and agree to be bound by the terms of the protective order. That entity would also be required to deliver a copy of that acknowledgement to the filing provider.
Comments on the Commission’s protective order proposals will be due 10 days after publication in the Federal Register and reply comments will be due 5 days after the due date for initial comments.