Today the US Senate passed a new bill that would require telecommunication to automatically block robocalls free of charge. The bill, nicknamed the TRACED Act will give the government “new powers to find and prosecute criminals who place batches of calls under fake numbers without obtaining permission, remedying what law enforcement officials have said was a major weakness that inhibited their ability to punish those who contact Americans en masse.”
The bill would require major US carriers like AT&T, Verizon, and other telecom carriers to adopt technology that can help users identify when a call is a spam or legitimate, the catch, carriers must offer this service for free to customers, or risk being fined.
The bills were pushed by Senator John Thune of South Dakota, Senator Ed Markey of Massachusetts, and co-signed by a number of other Senators and lawmkers.
The bill also zooms in on the FCC and US Department of Justice and gives them the authority to more aggressively go after these robo-callers, and take down their inner system and network.
The bill now heads to President Trump’s desk where he is expected to sign it into law and move it into practice. Apple has tried to take this on themselves, with iOS 13 introducing the ability to block unknown callers, while it was a welcomed feature, it isn’t enough.
Robocalls are growing at a faster rate than ever before and built-in features on phones isn’t enough, there needs to be intervention on the network level to prevent these calls from making their ways into people’s lives.