FCC Seeks Comment on Blocking of Presumptively Illegal Calls

The Federal Communications Commission is seeking comment on how it might further empower companies that provide telephone service to block fraudulent and other illegal calls. The FCC’s request comes after it authorized — but did not require — voice service providers last November to block calls from phone numbers that are invalid or unassigned to a specific user. In its ongoing effort to combat illegal calls, the FCC is seeking comment on additional criteria by which voice service providers may block calls that are “highly likely to be illegal.”

To protect legitimate calls made by banks and other businesses, the FCC is also seeking comment on how voice service providers could reduce the potential that lawful calls are blocked and how the inadvertent blocking of lawful calls can best be addressed. Specifically, the FCC is seeking information on how a “white list” could best be implemented to avoid blocking lawful calls and to avoid enabling unlawful spoofing of numbers.

In a comment letter filed last June, the American Bankers Association expressed concern over the erroneous blocking of lawful bank calls and expressed support for the creation of a white list.