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FCC Chair Proposes Rules to Block Robotexts

FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel

Posted by Chris Alarie on Wed, 10/20/2021 - 13:02

Acting Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chair Jessica Rosenworcel proposed new rules to require wireless phone providers to block illegal text messaging. The press release announcing this proposed rulemaking was limited in terms of details but it did include a quote from Rosenworcel:

“In a world where so many of us rely heavily on texting to stay connected with our friends and family, ensuring the integrity of this communication is vitally important. We’ve seen a rise in scammers trying to take advantage of our trust of text messages by sending bogus robotexts that try to trick consumers to share sensitive information or click on malicious links. It’s time we take steps to confront this latest wave of fraud and identify how mobile carriers can block these automated messages before they have the opportunity to cause any harm.”

As of right now, this is merely a proposal to conduct rulemaking and the unusual circumstances of the FCC’s current composition could complicate further action. But it is notable that Rosenworcel was critical of the Supreme Court’s decision in Facebook v. Duguid, tweeting that “Congress may need to take a look and update the law.” And regardless of whether or not Rosenworcel will become the permanent FCC chair, robocall (and robotext) regulations are one of the few unifying, bipartisan projects at the FCC. We will continue to monitor this story as it could prove to be a significant move by the FCC.