(STL.News) – Rutledge announced the effort to expand illegal robocall response by calling on USTelecom – the leading organization representing telecommunications providers – and its Industry Traceback Group (ITG) to continue its collaboration with a bipartisan coalition of 52 attorneys general by bolstering technological capabilities to improve enforcement against illegal robocallers. The coalition’s letter urged the association to further develop robocall traceback and other tools suited for law enforcement needs.
“This partnership between the public sector and private industry is critical to stopping these illegal scam calls,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “I’m proud to have led the effort to develop Arkansas’s relationship with telecom providers. We now need to build on our accomplishments and develop resources to stop these incessant calls and to hold those accountable who are stealing from Arkansans.”
The letter asks USTelecom to advance the ITG’s abilities in identifying robocall campaigns, trends and business ecosystems; conducting automated traceback investigations and coordinating with relevant law enforcement agencies.
A key part would be for USTelecom to develop and roll out an online platform to collect live data from carriers and robocall-blocking apps. When USTelecom or a law enforcement agency detects an illegal robocall campaign, the law enforcement agency would then be able to submit a subpoena to USTelecom in a streamlined online portal. The process would allow for rapid review by USTelecom and provide law enforcement agencies the ability to expedite subpoena procedures and access the platform to quickly retrieve relevant data. The platform would bolster law enforcement investigations and could potentially lead to attorneys general offices issuing temporary restraining orders that could stop a live robocall campaign in its tracks. The coalition believes these measures would strengthen the partnership between the USTelecom-backed ITG and attorneys general, a relationship that led to the creation of the Anti-Robocall Principles.
Rutledge has paved the way for telephone carriers to aggressively block illegal robocalls before they reach consumers through ongoing collaborations with the Federal Communication Commission (FCC), telecom industry representatives and a coalition of state attorneys general. Rutledge urged the passage of the Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence (TRACED) Act, which enables the industry to develop call-authentication protocols to combat caller-ID spoofing and implement other sweeping anti-robocall measures, and demanded the FCC take expedient action in the Truth in Caller ID Act rulemaking process against illegal spoofing. Rutledge was also instrumental in developing the Anti-Robocall Principles for telecoms to reduce the number of unwanted and illegal robocalls reaching the American people, which were adopted by 51 attorneys general and 12 major telecom providers in August 2019.