Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Would Help Unmask Threatening Callers’ Identities

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At yesterday’s Open Meeting, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) adopted a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) that would amend the FCC’s caller ID rules to allow called parties and law enforcement to obtain blocked caller ID information in connection with threatening calls.  The Commission’s current rules generally prohibit voice providers from revealing blocked caller ID information or using that information to allow the called party to contact the caller.  Called parties that wish to access blocked caller ID information must obtain a waiver of the Commission’s rules on a case-by-case basis.  However, the FCC is now seeking to streamline this process so that institutions facing harassing or threatening calls can work with law enforcement to gain quicker access to the caller ID information of anonymous callers.  The NPRM would also extend the temporary waiver of caller ID privacy rules granted to Jewish Community Centers and carriers that serve them in March 2017.  Comments on the NPRM are due 30 days after, and reply comments are due 60 days after, the date of publication in the Federal Register, which has not yet occurred.

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