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Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP

Chairman Ajit Pai is taking steps to curb some types of robocalls, a constant target of ire from lawmakers, regulators and consumers.

Proposal details:

  • Pai is proposing rules that would let phone carriers block numbers in certain instances of "spoofing," or making erroneous information appear on caller ID, for a robocalls.
  • He will also ask for comments on issues like blocking spoofed calls from overseas numbers and how the agency can work to make sure that legal calls aren't being blocked.
  • "Scammers and spammers use spoofing to disguise their identity, to trick consumers into answering unwanted calls, and to hide from authorities," Pai said in a blog post. "And under the FCC's current rules, which generally prevent call-blocking, there is not much that carriers can do to stop this."

Worth noting: The meat of the proposal is a notice of proposed rulemaking, which means that the commission would need to vote again after the public comments on it to actually implement the proposed rules.

Background: The telephone industry, led by AT&T, worked on solutions to the robocall problem in a task force convened by the FCC last year. But blocking unwanted calls while allowing legitimate calls to go through is complicated to address both legally and technologically.

Go deeper

7 mins ago - World

Two years of COVID-19

Expand chart
Data: Our World in Data; Chart: Axios Visuals

Two years ago Wednesday, the first case of a mysterious new respiratory disease was discovered in Wuhan, China. Now, the Omicron variant has deepened concerns about just how much longer the coronavirus pandemic will last.

The big picture: More than 5 million people have died since that first case. Most people on earth have lived through some form of lockdown. 54% of the global population has had at least one vaccination, though the shots have been distributed unevenly.

Updated 12 hours ago - Politics & Policy

U.S. sounds alarm on Ukraine

Conscripts line up at a Russian railway station yesterday before departing for Army service. Photo: Sergei Malgavko/TASS via Getty Images

The Biden administration is "deeply concerned" by new intelligence — detailed for Axios and other outlets — showing Russia stepping up preparations to invade Ukraine as soon as early 2022.

Why it matters: Most of this was known from public sources and satellite imagery, but the administration is sending a stronger signal by releasing specific details from the intelligence community.

14 hours ago - Economy & Business

CNN fires Chris Cuomo

Photo: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for CNN

CNN said Saturday evening it has fired one of its star anchors, Chris Cuomo, following new revelations from a legal review made by the company into Cuomo's involvement in the management of his brother's sexual harassment scandal.

Why it matters: Saturday's firing speaks to how much pressure CNN was under by employees and critics to address Cuomo's behavior.

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