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Stopping Illegal Robocalls Where They Start

The Robocall Pledge

Last week, in conjunction with another FCC Order tweaking robocall rules, Commissioner Rosenworcel released a statement where she said, “There is no public process for holding carriers who put this junk on the line accountable.” I agree. I think the first step is for ALL carriers to adopt a Pledge whereby they hold themselves accountable for doing what they can to stop the calls at their source. Here’s what I circulated to a few of them back in February, thinking “What self-respecting carrier wouldn’t want to adopt this?”

Telecommunications Service Provider Pledge to Stop Illegal Robocalls at the Source

We recognize that illegal robocalls and related telephony abuse are a growing frustration for virtually all users of the American Telephone Network and are particularly troublesome for those that fall prey to the scams that are perpetrated via these calls.

We have a multi-pronged effort to address this scourge. Stopping these calls at their source is one promising approach. Accordingly, this Pledge affirms our commitment:

  • To Incorporate language into our contracts, term of service, acceptable use policy, tariffs and/or other documents as appropriate prohibiting use of our platform to make or receive illegal calls.
  • To sufficiently vet and limit new customers to discourage would-be scammers from accessing volume calling capabilities.
  • Specifically with respect to caller-ID, to require that the caller-ID value be either a number assigned to the calling party, or one which the caller has the explicit permission of the assignee to use.
  • When non-compliant calls come to our attention, through our own analysis or via other credible sources, to promptly investigate and take necessary action with the offending customer to mitigate ongoing illegal activity.
  • To provide a point-of-contact for traceback and takedown requests from bona fide sources, and to respond swiftly. For credible requests that include sufficient supporting detail, we will not require a subpoena or similar documentation.
  • To share as much information with industry forensics efforts and enforcement officials as is practical and legal, recognizing that users of our platform that are breaking the law need not be afforded the same privacy protections as those complying with the rules.
  • To insist that our service provider partners implement these same practices and impose this same requirement on their partners, or face restrictions on their use of our platform (including, if necessary, complete loss of access).

We apply these abuse mitigation practices in a non-discriminatory manner, following the call data wherever it takes us. If we discover that traffic originally flagged as illegal is in fact legitimate, we will share that information with other parties in the call chain. Our adherence to this pledge may be publicly disclosed.

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