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Wednesday, July 17, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

FCC Wants to Stop|Caller ID Spoofing

WASHINGTON (CN) - The Federal Communications Commission is implementing a provision of the Truth in Caller ID Act that prohibits caller ID spoofing with the intent to defraud, cause harm or wrongfully obtain anything of value.

Caller ID spoofing enables a caller to use a caller ID that is not accurate to gain an advantage over the person who answers.

The proposed rules exempt "any authorized activity of a law enforcement agency," "court orders that specifically authorize the use of caller identification manipulation," and "lawfully authorized investigative, protective, or intelligence activity of a law enforcement agency of the United States, a state or a political subdivision of a state, or of an intelligence agency of the United States."

The agency requests comments on whether penalties for violation of the rules should be assigned only to the caller, or also to third-party providers who do not take actions that may prevent the caller from engaging in the ruse.

Penalties for violation of the rules will be determined based on balancing factors that include "the nature, circumstances, extent, and gravity of the violation, and, with respect to the violator, the degree of culpability, any history of prior offenses, ability to pay, and such other matters as justice may require," according to the proposed rule.

The Truth in Caller ID Act and the proposed rules do not require "willful" or "repeated" violations to justify imposition of a penalty. Penalties are not to exceed $10,000 for each violation, or three times that amount for each day of a continuing violation, except that the amount assessed for any continuing violation is not to exceed a total of $1 million for any single act or failure to act, under the law and proposed rules.

The agency also seeks comments to assist in preparing a statutorily required report to Congress on whether additional legislation is necessary to prohibit the provision of inaccurate caller identification information in successor or replacement technologies to telecommunications services or IP-enabled voice services.

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