EPIC, Consumer Action Urge FCC to More Aggressively Prevent Misuse of Phone Numbers

November 29, 2023

EPIC and Consumer Action today urged the Federal Communications Commission to more aggressively regulate the companies that resell phone numbers, as bad actor callers can bypass anti-spam call protections by constantly and rapidly changing what numbers they call from. The FCC has relied heavily on the STIR/SHAKEN protocol to reduce scam and unwanted robocalls by detecting when callers change how their number appears on the called person’s caller ID (called “spoofing”); however, this protocol cannot detect when a caller is rotating through legitimate phone numbers without spoofing the caller ID, meaning these unwanted calls are less likely to be detected or blocked. EPIC and Consumer Action recommended that the FCC address this issue, hold the companies that resell access to phone numbers liable when their customers or their customer’s customers misuse those numbers, and terminate a company’s ability to obtain access to phone numbers where necessary. The advocacy organizations also urged the Commission to make use of a decades-old auditing program dedicated to investigating possible misuse of numbering resources.

EPIC routinely participates in regulatory and legislative processes concerning robocalls and files amicus briefs in robocall cases.

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