Apple Watch iPhone phone callSource: iMore

What you need to know

  • President Trump has signed a new law giving the FCC new powers against robocall abusers.
  • Titled the TRACED Act, the law increases penalties for offenders and allows prosecution by the Justice Department.
  • Carriers must also implement more advanced authentication and provide free call blocking services.

President Trump has signed a new law that looks to combat the robocalling industry and protect consumers against spam and fraud. The Pallone-Thune Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence, or TRACED Act, is legislation that has been anticipated for a while. Reported by AppleInsider, the legislation has received nearly unanimous support in both the House of Representatives and the Senate, and with the President's signature has now become law.

The office of White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham released a statement touting the legislation's advancements to protect consumers from robocalls and give the FCC more power to enforce the law.

"This historic legislation will provide American consumers with even greater protection against annoying unsolicited robocalls. American families deserve control over their communications, and this legislation will update our laws and regulations to stiffen penalties, increase transparency, and enhance government collaboration to stop unwanted solicitation. President Donald J. Trump is proud to have worked with Congress to get this bipartisan legislation to his desk, and even prouder to sign it into law today."

In practice, the law gives new power and authority to the Federal Communications Commission. The agency will now be able to fine robocall abusers up to $10,000 per call if they determine an offense. Going further, offenders may now also be prosecuted by the Justice Department.

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Carriers are also being given new requirements as well. Providers will now have to develop STIR/SHAKEN authentication technologies to help combat against robocalls, and must now provide call-blocking services to their customers for free.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai released a statement thanking Congress and the President for passing the law and gave insight to what abusers of robocalling can expect from the agency going forward.

"I applaud Congress for working in a bipartisan manner to combat illegal robocalls and malicious caller ID spoofing. I thank the President and Congress for the additional tools and flexibility that this law affords us. Specifically, I am glad that the agency now has a longer statute of limitations during which we can pursue scammers and I welcome the removal of a previously-required warning we had to give to unlawful robocallers before imposing tough penalties."