Attorneys General Urge Continued Collaboration in Fight Against Robocalls

A bipartisan coalition of 52 attorneys general, led by Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost and Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel, have signed a letter urging continued collaboration between state and private entities to increase technological capabilities to improve enforcement against illegal robocallers.

The letter was sent on May 4, 2020 to USTelecom, the leading trade association for telecommunications providers, and its Industry Traceback Group (“ITG”).  In its letter, the coalition requests the development of an online platform to collect live data from carriers and robocall-blocking apps which can aid in the identification of illegal robocallers. Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slaterty noted that the goal was “to use technology to beat illegal robocallers at their own game,” with the platform ultimately being able to “[stop] a live robocall campaign in its tracks.”

The coalition asserts that the proposed platform would lead to a stronger partnership between USTelecom, ITG, and the attorneys general. Previous collaboration between these groups led to the establishment of 2019’s Anti-Robocall Principals.

The attorneys general’s letter follows increased efforts at the federal level to crack down on illegal robocalls, and demonstrates that bipartisan efforts to fight illegal calls will not be stymied by the current COVID-19 pandemic. Earlier this year Congress passed the Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence (“TRACED”) Act, enabling telecommunications providers to develop call-authentication protocols to combat caller-ID spoofing and identify unlawful callers.