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David McCabe Mar 23, 2017
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Feds moves forward with robocall fight

Robin Groulx / Axios

The Federal Communications Commission voted on Thursday to formally consider steps it hopes will fight robocalls:

  • It has proposed rule changes thats would make it easier for phone companies to block calls with fake caller ID information (a practice called "spoofing") without violating the agency's rules.
  • This could apply in cases where the number showing up on caller ID hasn't been given to a user yet or when the area code in question doesn't actually exist.
  • The commission will also ask for comments about other ways to block robocalls that violate the law.

Why it matters: Robocalls are a regular source of consumer frustration but regulators have struggled to bring them to heel. The vote also follows work by a robocall "strike force" that included companies like AT&T and Verizon as well as major Silicon Valley firms.

What's next: The public can now comment on the FCC's proposals. The agency will need to vote again for the rules to go into effect.