U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) a member of the Senate Commerce Committee and chairman of the Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, Innovation, and the Internet, today applauded the committee for unanimously passing his bipartisan Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence (TRACED) Act, legislation he introduced with Sen. Edward Markey (D-Mass.) to combat annoying, illegal, and abusive robocalls.
“After hearing from friends, family, and constituents, and after experiencing these annoying calls firsthand, it became clear that more needed to be done to ultimately stop people like notorious robocall scammer Adrian Abramovich, who I hauled before the Commerce Committee last year, from preying on the vulnerable,” said Thune. “I’m glad the committee recognized the importance of this legislation to combat this problem, which is now the top consumer complaint submitted to the Federal Trade Commission, by unanimously passing the TRACED Act today. I am hopeful that we will see a vote quickly in the full Senate.”
Amidst ever-increasing numbers of robocall scams, the TRACED Act gives regulators more time to find scammers, increases civil forfeiture penalties for those who are caught, promotes call authentication and blocking adoption (technology that prevents these calls from reaching consumers in the first place), and brings relevant federal agencies and state attorneys general together to address impediments to criminal prosecution of robocallers who intentionally flout laws.
The TRACED Act, which is supported by all 50 state attorneys general, FCC and FTC commissioners, industry associations, and consumer groups, was recently highlighted in a Washington Post article titled, “Robo-callers rang Americans’ phones 26 billion times last year. Now, Congress is taking aim” and was featured in national news segments here and here. Click here for an op-ed Thune penned on the TRACED Act and the growing concern over robocalls.