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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

CDC to cut guidance on quarantine period for coronavirus exposure

A health care worker oversees cars as people arrive to get tested for coronavirus at a testing site in Arlington, Virginia, on Tuesday. Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

The CDC will soon shorten its guidance for quarantine periods following exposure to COVID-19, AP reported Tuesday and Axios can confirm.

Why it matters: Quarantine helps prevent the spread of the coronavirus, which can occur before a person knows they're sick or if they're infected without feeling any symptoms. The current recommended period to stay home if exposed to the virus is 14 days. The CDC plans to amend this to 10 days or seven with a negative test, an official told Axios.

  • The CDC did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
1 hour ago - Health

CDC panel: COVID vaccines should go to health workers, long-term care residents first

Hospital staff work in the COVID-19 intensive care unit in Houston. Photo: Go Nakamura via Getty

Health-care workers and nursing home residents should be at the front of the line to get coronavirus vaccines in the United States once they’re cleared and available for public use, an independent CDC panel recommended in a 13-1 emergency vote on Tuesday, per CNBC.

Why it matters: Recent developments in COVID-19 vaccines have accelerated the timeline for distribution as vaccines developed by Pfizer and Moderna undergo the federal approval process. States are preparing to begin distributing as soon as two weeks from now.

Obama: Broad slogans like "defund the police" lose people

Snapchat.

Former President Barack Obama told Peter Hamby on the Snapchat original political show "Good Luck America" that "snappy" slogans such as "defund the police" can alienate people, making the statements less effective than intended.

What he's saying: "You lost a big audience the minute you say it, which makes it a lot less likely that you're actually going to get the changes you want done," Obama told Hamby in an interview that will air Wednesday morning at 6 a.m. EST on Snapchat.

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