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house Bill H.R. 423

Should Telemarketers Be Banned From "Spoofing" Their Identity in Text Messages?

Argument in favor

Companies should not be allowed to trick people into thinking they are offering safe, legitimate services. This is already illegal; it’s time to update the regulations to include the latest technologies.

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01/23/2017
Non transparent marketing leads to deception and trickery. This bill offers proper consumer protection.
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James's Opinion
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01/23/2017
The government has a do not call list for reason. As such companies should not be able to get around this by spoofing their number.
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Nancy's Opinion
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01/23/2017
This is absolutely necessary. Our homes are our personal space, we should be free from intrusion of any sort.
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Argument opposed

The government shouldn’t interfere with companies’ methods for reaching possible customers. Everyone should have a right to hide their identity — no matter their reason for doing so.

Angela's Opinion
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01/24/2017
I can't believe that this is even a discussion. Of course they shouldn't be lying.
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Daniel's Opinion
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01/24/2017
The government has a do not call list for reason. As such companies should not be able to get around this by spoofing their number.
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Robert's Opinion
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01/24/2017
This a great violation of the privacy act, because companies sells your information for as low $.03 per customer. This allows cold calls selling and pop up information data bases where someone can get all you information off Goggle and Spokeo
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What is House Bill H.R. 423?

This bill would make it more difficult for companies and scammers to trick people into answering their calls and texts.

In an attempt to avoid telemarketers and scams, many Americans use caller ID and ignore calls from unknown numbers. Some companies trick people into answering anyway (or responding to text messages), by “spoofing” their numbers to display fake information on recipient caller IDs. Some scammers alter their information to appear as though their calls and texts are actually coming from a reputable company, government agency, hospital, bank, or credit card company.

The Truth in Caller ID Act of 2009 made it illegal to spoof your number while making a phone call with the intent to defraud, harm, or wrongly obtain anything of value, as long as the caller and recipient were both located in the United States.

The Anti-Spoofing Act seeks to expand this protection by banning fraudulent spoofing via text messages and calls placed with Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services (which allow users to place calls from computers and tablets), as well as instances where the recipient is located in the United States but the caller is out of the country.

If passed, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will be responsible for implementing the new rules.

Impact

Companies that currently spoof using text messages, VoIP, or out-of-country callers; people who may receive and be tricked by these calls; the FCC; Congress.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 423

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In Depth: Sponsoring Rep. Grace Meng (D-NY) offered the following statement when she introduced this bill during the previous session of Congress:

“The purpose of caller ID is to know the identity of the person who is calling or texting you. But all too often, the name and number that is displayed is not the actual name and number of the caller or texter. Unfortunately, it’s often some telemarketers attempting to pull a fast one or con artists trying to rip off unsuspecting recipients, especially seniors. It’s time to finally stop this outrageous and deceitful practice.”

This legislation passed the House on a 382-5 vote in November 2016, but wasn't considered in the Senate before the 114th Congress adjourned.

Of Note: The FCC accepts complaints from people who feel they have been wrongfully spoofed.


Media:

Summary by Katie Rose Quandt
(Photo Credit: Tim Pierce/ Flickr)

AKA

Anti-Spoofing Act of 2017

Official Title

To amend the Communications Act of 1934 to expand and clarify the prohibition on provision of misleading or inaccurate caller identification information, and for other purposes.

bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation
  • The house Passed January 23rd, 2017
    Roll Call Vote 398 Yea / 5 Nay
      house Committees
      Committee on Energy and Commerce
    IntroducedJanuary 10th, 2017

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    Non transparent marketing leads to deception and trickery. This bill offers proper consumer protection.
    Like (224)
    Follow
    Share
    I can't believe that this is even a discussion. Of course they shouldn't be lying.
    Like (10)
    Follow
    Share
    The government has a do not call list for reason. As such companies should not be able to get around this by spoofing their number.
    Like (161)
    Follow
    Share
    This is absolutely necessary. Our homes are our personal space, we should be free from intrusion of any sort.
    Like (99)
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    Protect those that are more vulnerable to scams, such as the elderly, low income folks who may be desperate for cash infusions.
    Like (80)
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    Dishonesty should not be encouraged
    Like (66)
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    Hiding ones' identity is not indicative of honest business practices.
    Like (54)
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    I'm getting more calls from shady and other solicitors than ever before despite enrolling in the Do Not Call Registry. If it doesn't work or is not used for the purpose of enforcement, let's save the money and do away with it. If it can work, let's put some teeth into it and make some examples as a strong deterrent. Being a physician, I need to answer call waitings, but the numerous interruptions also detract greatly from my productivity and care.
    Like (31)
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    I feel harassed in my own home. At least I should have the right to know who is calling before I answer the phone
    Like (28)
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    Thank you for voting "Yes" on this important bill. Transparency is critical to improving communications and decisions in everything. The Do Not Call List is a great idea and has cost money to implement and for some citizens the calls to their phones costs them money as well. Enforcement of the Do Not Call List has been weak and closing this loop hole for telemarketers will reduce unnecessary spending and work to reduce this problem. Thank you.
    Like (15)
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    Consumers should be able to know when they are being advertised to. This measure will protect people's right to privacy, which is very important for a digital era.
    Like (13)
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    Businesses should not be able to use fake pretenses when interacting with consumers. This practice should be considered on-par with false advertising.
    Like (10)
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    So tired of marketing calls!!
    Like (9)
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    Caller ID is rendered useless if it is not complete and accurate. It should be illegal for people to ignore or contrive ways to bypass the Do Not Call list, whether telemarketing, robocalling, surveying, campaigning for political office, seeking donations, fishing for collections agencies, or scamming. Some of these invasive activities should be punishable by imprisonment; the others by payment of hefty fines that go directly to the victim. The telephone company should be required to set up effective barriers to these practices, and should not be allowed to profit in any way by them. Many people, myself among them, are compelled to make a decision not to rush to the phone when it rings, but rather to let it default to voice mail, just in self-defense against these callers. The volume of such calls has risen to the point where when the phone rings it is more likely than not to be one if these types of uninvited, unwelcome calls. That reduces the usefulness of the phone, turning it into more of a disturber of the peace in the home than a useful and vital communication device. A tendency to ignore the phone's ring means emergency calls are more apt to be missed. For the elderly, the frequency of such calls, in addition to the risk of falling for a scam, creates a potential safety hazard: If you robo-call a large number of random phones, how many of those phones ring in a home where an elderly person may be injured in the effort to get to the phone? The more frequent the calls, the higher the risk this kind of thing happens. We do not pay for phone service to have our phones be used as a gateway for advertisers, fundraisers, politicians and cons. We are subject to too much of that by every other possible pathway.
    Like (9)
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    The government has a do not call list for reason. As such companies should not be able to get around this by spoofing their number.
    Like (9)
    Follow
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    This a great violation of the privacy act, because companies sells your information for as low $.03 per customer. This allows cold calls selling and pop up information data bases where someone can get all you information off Goggle and Spokeo
    Like (8)
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    Deception must not be rewarded. Collection practices should be transparent.
    Like (8)
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    Deceptive practices by businesses are not appropriate and harm the consumer
    Like (8)
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    If you text, call or represent yourself as someone or some organization that you are not, it would be identity crime. A large fine with a 6 month jail stay would seem like a great deterrent.
    Like (6)
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    The public should be protected from businesses that use any masking of their identity.
    Like (6)
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