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Attorney General Cameron Joins Bipartisan Coalition to Expand Response to Illegal Robocalls

Attorney General Cameron Joins Bipartisan Coalition to Expand Response to Illegal Robocalls

Bill Stephens

May 6th, 2020

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Bipartisan Coalition of Attorneys General Send USTelecom Letter Outlining Plan to Strengthen Illegal Robocall Enforcement

FRANKFORT, Ky. (May 6, 2020) – Attorney General Daniel Cameron joined a bipartisan coalition of 52 attorneys general in calling on USTelecom – the leading organization representing telecommunications providers – and its Industry Traceback Group (ITG) to continue its collaboration with state attorneys general by bolstering technological capabilities to improve enforcement against illegal robocallers.

In a letter sent to USTelecom, cosponsored by Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel and Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost, the coalition urges the association to further develop robocall traceback and other tools suited to law enforcement needs.

“Illegal robocalls create unnecessary disruptions and can lead to confusion and even fraud for Kentucky consumers,” said Attorney General Cameron.  “We’re committed to taking action on behalf of Kentuckians to crack down on these calls.  The letter sent by our bipartisan coalition serves to strengthen the existing relationship we have with USTelecom and encourages the development of increased capabilities and technologies to stop robocallers from illegally targeting consumers.”

State Representative Kevin Bratcher has worked to end illegal robocalls in the Commonwealth and expressed support for the coalition.

“As a state representative, I believe that state leaders have a certain responsibility to protect our citizen’s private information and track fraudulent robocalls,” said Rep. Bratcher.  “For the past several years, I have worked diligently to find a solution for this matter. By joining this bipartisan coalition, Attorney General Cameron is bringing awareness to a significant issue and is taking action to reduce the number of infuriating phone calls and the number of vulnerable Kentuckians getting scammed.” 

The letter asks USTelecom to advance the ITG’s abilities in identifying robocall campaigns, trends and business ecosystems; conducting automated traceback investigations; and coordinating with relevant law enforcement agencies.

“The issue of illegal robocalls is a nationwide concern, and I’m proud to stand with a bipartisan coalition of my colleagues from across the country in working to address it,” said Attorney General Nessel. “Far too many people have accepted robocalls as a normal part of their everyday lives. The unfortunate reality is that we expect the number of robocalls to continue climbing if we don’t take quick and aggressive action. Law enforcement agencies need the right set of tools to combat this pervasive issue, and furthering this collaboration is a step in the right direction.”

A key part of that action would be for USTelecom to develop and roll out an online platform to collect live data from carriers and robocall-blocking apps. When USTelecom or a law enforcement agency detects an illegal robocall campaign, the law enforcement agency would then be able to submit a subpoena to USTelecom in a streamlined online portal.

The process would allow for rapid review by USTelecom and provide law enforcement agencies the ability to expedite subpoena procedures and access the platform to quickly retrieve relevant data. The platform would bolster law enforcement investigations and could potentially lead to attorneys general offices issuing temporary restraining orders that could stop a live robocall campaign in its tracks.

“These fraudulent calls are a pain to all of us and they’re a threat to vulnerable people who have no reason to doubt the voice on the other end of the line,” said Attorney General Yost. “Partnerships like this one are helping us develop the cutting-edge tools we need to stop the nuisance once and for all.”

The coalition believes these measures would strengthen the partnership between the USTelecom-backed ITG and attorneys general, a relationship that led to the creation of the Anti-Robocall Principles last year.

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