Washington (December 8, 2021) – Senators Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and John Thune (R-S.D.), authors of the Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence (TRACED) Act and members of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, today introduced the Robocall Trace Back Enhancement Act, legislation to help bolster privately led efforts to trace back the origins of illegal and bothersome robocalls. Senators Markey and Thune have long advocated for consumer rights and protection from robocalls and for holding scammers and other bad actors accountable.
“When Senator Thune and I passed the TRACED Act, our goal was simple: stop the scourge of robocalls plaguing Americans. Our law is already having an impact stopping illegal robocalls by blocking fraudulent calls before our cell phones even ring,” said Senator Markey. “The Robocall Trace Back Enhancement Act is a natural extension of the TRACED Act. This legislation makes it easier to root out bad actors who illegally robocall countless phone numbers by promoting public accountability among, and aggressive action against, those responsible for illegal, fraudulent, and abusive robocalls. I am proud to partner with Senator Thune as we make it clear that there are no blue robocalls or red robocalls -- there are only despised robocalls.”
“Robocall scams are designed to intentionally prey on vulnerable individuals,” said Senator Thune. “In 2019, Congress passed my TRACED Act to help address unwanted and illegal robocalls, and the bipartisan legislation we’re introducing today would build on those efforts by supporting privately led efforts to trace back and identify the origins of the calls. We must continue to hold these bad actors accountable, and I thank Sen. Markey for his continued support and leadership on this effort.”
“The FCC is hard at work to trace and root out scam robocalls. But more tools are always welcome in this fight. So kudos to Senators Markey and Thune for their new ideas to bolster our anti-robocall efforts and put a spotlight on the phone providers that facilitate scam calls,” said Federal Communications Commission Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel.
On January 17, 2019, Senators Markey and Thune introduced the TRACED Act, legislation to combat the rise of illegal robocalls. It was enacted in December 2019 and, among other things, required the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to designate an entity to conduct privately led efforts to trace back the origin of suspected illegal robocalls, which it did in July 2020 by selecting USTelecom-The Broadband Association’s Industry Traceback Group (ITG) as the official consortium. In August 2021, the FCC re-designated the ITG as the official consortium.