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Telephone and Texting Compliance News: Regulatory Update — Industry Traceback Group Publishes Report Showing Decrease in Illegal Calling

The Industry Traceback Group (“ITG”) published the ITG 2022 Year-in-Review:State of Industry Traceback report (“Report”) looking back at the progress the ITG, working together with law enforcement, including the Commission, made against illegal robocalling in 2022. Overall, the Report showed that consumer complaints related to robocalling have decreased as many high-volume robocalling campaigns have been shut down.

The Report credits the work of the Commission in empowering voice service providers to use blocking tools to prevent illegal robocalls from ever reaching consumers’ phones and voice service providers for putting those tools into practice, which has stopped millions of unlawful calls or labeled them as spam. The Report also notes that STIR/SHAKEN implementation and the Robocall Mitigation Database have made bad actors more accountable.

However, as the Report explains, the anti-robocalling measure with the greatest positive impact in 2022 was the industry traceback, buttressed by the legitimate threat of enforcement action. In particular, the Report notes that over 90% of completed trackbacks end with the illegal robocaller being kicked off of the network or warned by law enforcement. This was especially true in two examples – the auto warranty and the student loan robocalling scams. The Report shows that after traceback and targeted enforcement actions were taken against each of these scam-calling campaigns, the calls virtually disappeared from the network, whereas a year ago, tens of millions of U.S. consumers were getting these calls daily.

While acknowledging that there are still too many illegal robocalls and that the bad actors will not stop trying, the Report concludes that “[t]oday, it is riskier and harder to keep making or enabling illegal robocalls than it has been in years. That trend will continue thanks to the Industry Traceback Group’s commitment to keep innovating in close partnership with industry and government partners. Until consumers stop getting illegal calls they don’t want, the ITG is on the beat.

See Also Telephone and Texting Compliance News — March 2023

©1994-2023 Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C. All Rights Reserved.National Law Review, Volume XIII, Number 91

About this Author

Russell H. Fox, Communications Attorney, Mintz Levin, Regulatory Approvals

With over 35 years in the wireless telecommunications industry, Russell is among the most experienced wireless communications attorneys in the country. Unique among his peers, Russell assists clients on federal legislative, regulatory, and transactional matters. He analyzes legislation on behalf of clients, participates in proceedings before the FCC and other federal agencies, negotiates spectrum agreements, and represents wireless providers in spectrum auctions. He is also frequently consulted on matters involving US spectrum use and policy.

Whether they are in the middle of a...

Jonathan P. Garvin Communications & Media Attorney Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo Washington, DC

Jon focuses his practice on a wide range of legal challenges facing companies in the communications and media industries. He regularly advises clients on transactional, regulatory, and compliance issues before the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) involving wireless, broadband, broadcast, and cable matters. In addition, Jon advises broadcast and print media clients on FTC and state-specific advertising rules and advises broadcast companies on Television Spectrum Repack and FCC license requirements. 

Jon brings FCC experience and insight to his engagements with the firm’s...