Aug 22, 2019

Telecom companies work with 51 attorneys general to combat robocalls

Photo: Peter Dazeley/Getty Images

Major telecom companies across the U.S. are partnering with attorneys general from every state to sign a pact aimed at combating the nationwide surge in robocalls, according to a press release from North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein.

Why it matters: This is the latest attempt to address robocalls plaguing the country, with companies working to prevent the calls on their networks and investigate their origins.

Among other things, the pact asks companies to:

  • Give customers the option to block and label robocalls for free.
  • Use tech to authenticate the validity of calls.
  • Monitor networks for robocall traffic.
  • Work with law enforcement to track down scammers.

Yes, but: The pact doesn't "stop illegal calls directly, but is instead designed to bolster efforts to track illegal robocalls." The agreement does not include smaller, internet-based carriers either, says the Wall Street Journal.

Participating companies:

  • AT&T
  • Verizon Communications
  • T-Mobile USA
  • Sprint Corp.
  • CenturyLink
  • Bandwidth
  • Charter Communications
  • Frontier
  • US Cellular
  • Windstream
  • Comcast
  • Consolidated Communications

Go deeper: Where all the robocalls are coming from

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Big Telecom's sweet summer of revenge

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

One byproduct of the techlash: After years of frustration that Silicon Valley companies seemed to get special treatment in Washington, telecom giants are finally gaining the upper hand.

Between the lines: Telecom companies like Comcast, Verizon and AT&T are now starting to feel more able to compete with tech giants like Facebook, Google and Amazon as they all jockey to dominate how we communicate and access information.

Go deeperArrowSep 3, 2019

Trump gets personal in auto emissions fight

President Trump with GM CEO Mary Barra in 2017. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images

A move by at least 4 big automakers to cut a separate deal with California on nationwide emissions standards clearly has President Trump's attention on Twitter.

"Henry Ford would be very disappointed if he saw his modern-day descendants wanting to build a much more expensive car, that is far less safe and doesn't work as well, because execs don't want to fight California regulators."

Why it matters: The tweets represent an escalation in the battle over one of the most far-reaching Obama-era climate efforts. They come as major automakers are weighing whether to join Ford, Honda, VW and BMW in the pact with California.

Go deeperArrowAug 22, 2019

Sarah Huckabee Sanders to join Fox News as a contributor

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Former White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders will join Fox News as a contributor, making her debut on "Fox & Friends" on Sept. 6, the network announced on Thursday.

Why it matters: Sanders was one of President Trump's most loyal defenders in the administration and is likely to take on that same role at Fox News, the president's favorite cable news channel. She became notorious for her combative interactions with members of the media and, toward the end of her tenure, lack of White House press briefings. Sanders admitted to special counsel Robert Mueller that she lied to reporters about the firing of FBI director James Comey, though she characterized it as a "slip of the tongue."

Go deeperArrowAug 22, 2019