FCC to propose rules allowing automatic robocall blocking

With more than 47. 8 billion robocalls made in the US in 2018, CNN Business explains what's really going on with the fake number on your caller ID.

Posted: May 16, 2019 7:54 AM


The Federal Communications Commission unveiled a proposal Wednesday to limit the scourge of unwanted robocalls, a measure that would give phone companies wide latitude to block those calls by default.

The plan, if approved, could go into effect later this year and allow carriers to apply robocall-blocking technologies to customer accounts automatically.

Americans received more than 26 billion robocalls last year — a 46% increase over the year before, according to a study by the Seattle-based spam monitoring service Hiya.

Companies have been working on a variety of techniques to thwart spam callers, but many have been reluctant to release them widely over fears that the technology could be considered illegal by regulators, said FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, who added his proposal aims to put those fears to rest.

"Allowing call blocking by default could be a big benefit for consumers who are sick and tired of robocalls," Pai said in a statement. "By making it clear that such call blocking is allowed, the FCC will give voice service providers the legal certainty they need to block unwanted calls from the outset so that consumers never have to get them."

Carriers have also been developing standards aimed at verifying the owner of a particular phone number, in order to cut down on robocalls in which scammers hide behind legitimate phone numbers. The FCC proposal would ask for public input on how those standards should work.

Last month, T-Mobile and Comcast's Xfinity said they would start verifying calls between their networks, using a tool that will alert customers if an incoming call wasn't placed by an actual human.

Most major telecom companies have also had a hand in developing and testing anti-robocall technology called STIR/SHAKEN. The technology's goal is to tamp down on bad actors who use a technique called "spoofing," which allows them to skirt Caller ID and make it look like they're calling from another number — even phone numbers that are identical or look similar to your own.

Spoofing has made it difficult for authorities to sort out which robocalls are illegal and which robocalls are spoofed for a legitimate reason, in cases like a call from a pharmacist or local school district.

--CNN Business' Jackie Wattles contributed to this report

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 512632

Reported Deaths: 10262
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison34853555
DeSoto33162432
Hinds32556641
Jackson24830389
Rankin22442402
Lee16238242
Madison14874283
Jones14086247
Forrest13741259
Lauderdale12249324
Lowndes11286193
Lamar10644140
Pearl River9707244
Lafayette8827143
Hancock7835132
Washington7550169
Oktibbeha7204138
Monroe6989179
Pontotoc6970109
Warren6849178
Panola6746134
Neshoba6726210
Marshall6653141
Bolivar6440151
Union633897
Pike5924156
Alcorn5862107
Lincoln5525136
George510180
Prentiss500884
Tippah490282
Itawamba4829107
Scott477499
Adams4766125
Tate4748116
Leflore4723144
Copiah455895
Yazoo455591
Simpson4543117
Wayne442772
Covington432895
Sunflower4299106
Marion4265112
Coahoma4227109
Leake413790
Newton395581
Tishomingo381793
Grenada3775109
Stone365666
Jasper340166
Attala337790
Winston317792
Chickasaw313367
Clay311878
Clarke301195
Calhoun284449
Holmes271289
Smith268952
Yalobusha243747
Tallahatchie231453
Greene224749
Walthall221366
Lawrence217840
Perry213356
Amite209557
Webster205148
Noxubee188642
Montgomery181557
Carroll174441
Jefferson Davis173643
Tunica163239
Benton152639
Kemper144941
Choctaw136527
Claiborne134238
Humphreys131139
Franklin124929
Quitman107528
Wilkinson105939
Jefferson96834
Sharkey65121
Issaquena1957
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 844594

Reported Deaths: 16115
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1160612006
Mobile741651379
Madison53255732
Shelby38313368
Baldwin38061589
Tuscaloosa35996641
Montgomery34473781
Lee25541263
Calhoun22582518
Morgan22441406
Etowah20009517
Marshall18771316
Houston17723425
St. Clair16863358
Limestone16123218
Cullman16032303
Elmore15902294
Lauderdale14945306
Talladega14186299
DeKalb12957269
Walker12011380
Blount10700192
Autauga10512157
Jackson10151194
Coffee9412192
Colbert9325208
Dale9013191
Tallapoosa7248201
Russell707465
Chilton7015170
Escambia6951143
Covington6926195
Franklin6337108
Chambers5778142
Marion5400130
Dallas5283209
Pike5114109
Clarke484986
Lawrence4826129
Winston4777110
Geneva4640136
Bibb434094
Barbour369180
Butler3433100
Marengo342393
Monroe336666
Randolph334067
Pickens333188
Fayette329885
Henry320566
Hale317989
Cherokee316963
Crenshaw260477
Washington256952
Cleburne254360
Lamar251253
Clay250869
Macon244764
Conecuh192762
Coosa184647
Lowndes178168
Wilcox177438
Bullock152545
Perry141840
Sumter139041
Greene130245
Choctaw93228
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