U.S. Senate passes anti-robocall TRACED Act

The TRACED Act implements a monetary penalty for violations. (Getty Images)

The U.S. Senate passed Senate bill 151, creating the “Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence Act” (TRACED Act) to deter robocalls.

The bill was sponsored by U.S. Senators John Thune (R-SD), Ed Markey (D-MA) and co-sponsored by more than 80 other senators from both parties. The TRACED Act amends the Communications Act of 1934.

The TRACED Act implements a monetary penalty for violations, which can range $10,000 for each violation, or three times that amount for each day of a continuing violation, except that the amount assessed for any continuing violation shall not exceed a total of $1 million for any single act or failure to act.
 
The bill also requires voice service providers to develop call authentication technologies. In addition, it directs the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to “promulgate rules establishing when a provider may block a voice call,” and also to “establish a process to permit a calling party adversely affected by the framework to verify the authenticity of their calls.”

The bill requires the Department of Justice and the FCC to assemble an interagency working group to study and report to Congress on the enforcement of robocalls.

Robert Fisher, Verizon’s SVP for federal government affairs, said in a statement, "Verizon has joined 50 State Attorneys General, AARP, a broad range of consumer groups, and all current FCC and FTC Commissioners in support of this common sense legislation. We welcome the work and commitment that Senators Thune and Markey have put forth on behalf of this legislation."

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