Summary: H.R.4932 — 114th Congress (2015-2016)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for H.R.4932. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Introduced in House (04/13/2016)

Repeated Objectionable Bothering of Consumers on Phones Act or the ROBOCOP Act

This bill amends the Communications Act of 1934 to expand the prohibition against knowingly transmitting inaccurate caller identification information to apply to: (1) persons outside the United States if the recipient is within the United States, or (2) text messages.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) must prescribe regulations that require providers of telecommunications services or IP-enabled voice services, for no additional charge, to enable technology for: (1) subscribers originating a telephone call to verify the accuracy of their caller identification information; and (2) subscribers receiving a call to use, with the option to disable, technology to determine that an incoming call is verified as providing caller identification information that accurately identifies the person originating the call or to prevent the subscriber from receiving such a call. Service providers must also offer a free option for subscribers receiving a call to: (1) identify a call as originating from an automatic telephone dialing system or as using an artificial or prerecorded voice, and (2) prevent themselves from receiving such a call unless it is made by a public safety entity or the subscriber provides prior consent to receive the call.

The FCC must provide an exemption process for subscribers originating a call to demonstrate: (1) their legitimate need to provide misleading or inaccurate information (such as a call to conduct an activity of a domestic violence shelter or medical practice), or (2) that the FCC has exempted a call for law enforcement purposes or because of a court order.

The bill allows private actions to enjoin or recover damages for violations of the FCC's caller identification technology standards. States may bring civil actions for a pattern or practice of a failure to provide such technology or options.

The bill also subjects to civil forfeiture penalties, criminal fines, or state actions persons who intentionally cause call-blocking technology to: (1) incorrectly identify calls as originating from an automatic dialing system or using an artificial or prerecorded voice, or (2) prevent the called party from receiving a call made by a public safety entity or a call to which it has provided its prior consent.