On February 4, the Federal Communications Commission issued seven letters to certain United States phone companies that provide gateway service for international robocalls into stateside networks, directing them to cooperate in tracing back those calls. The companies are used as gateways into the United States for robocalls that originate overseas; thus, are uniquely situated to assist the government and industry efforts to combat scam robocalls. Letters were sent to All Access, Globex, Piratel, Talkie, Telcast, ThinQ, and Third Base. The letters are available here.
The FCC’s letters follow similar regulatory actions from the Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission and, in fact, are part of a coordinated effort with those agency partners. On January 28, the DOJ announced the filing of civil actions for temporary restraining orders against five companies and three individuals allegedly responsible for carrying hundreds of millions of fraudulent robocalls to American consumers. On January 30, the FTC announced its own letter writing campaign to 19 VoIP providers, warning that assisting and facilitating illegal telemarketing robocalling is illegal.