U.S. Senators Edward Markey (D-MA) and John Thune (R-SD) introduced the Robocall Trace Back Enhancement Act — intending to “help bolster privately led efforts to trace back the origins of illegal and bothersome robocalls.” Senators Markey and Thune were also the original two co-sponsors of the TRACED Act, which was enacted in December 2019.
This legislation seeks to protect the current USTelecom-led Industry Traceback Consortium — established pursuant to the TRACED Act — from lawsuits by providing immunity for “receiving, sharing, or publishing” of information “regarding suspected fraudulent, abusive, or unlawful robocalls, illegally spoofed calls, and other illegal calls.” Voice service providers who share information with the consortium would also be protected from lawsuits under the bill. The bill would also amend the TRACED Act to clarify that the Commission or the consortium may publish a list of voice service providers that refuse to participate in traceback efforts or that are found to originate or transmit a substantial number of robocalls.
In introducing the legislation, Senator Markey said, “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.”