Washington, D.C. -- U.S. Senators Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minnesota) are taking steps to cut down on scammers using robocalls to defraud consumers by reintroducing S. 357, the Data Analytics Robocall Technology (DART) Act. This legislation will establish a pilot program to expand the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) ongoing attempts to combat unwanted computerized calls. The Congressional Research Service cites data indicating robocalls have risen to as high as 5.2 billion calls in March 2019.
“In response to Idahoans contacting my office with concerns regarding robocalls, I am continuing to work to get to the root of the problem by reintroducing the DART Act,” said Senator Crapo. “This bipartisan legislation would establish a pilot program at the FCC to expand its efforts to combat robocalls by blocking calls that fail authentication technology and procedures used to prevent caller ID spoofing, while allowing emergency service alert calls to remain uninterrupted and not expanding the capabilities of voice service providers to collect or share data. We all have too much happening in our daily lives to put up with illegal robocalls. I am encouraged this problem got broad, bipartisan attention last Congress and look forward to the implementation of sound policy this Congress to help end this invasive drain on time and resources.”
“Most robocalls aren’t just unwanted and disruptive – they’re illegal,” Klobuchar said. “The DART Act will help the FCC protect consumers from robocalls while also ensuring they continue to receive public safety calls.”
In December 2019, the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation advanced the DART Act out of Committee as a substitute amendment. The Senate passed the bill unanimously in December 2020. It did not pass out of the House of Representatives before the end of the 116th Congress. The Data Analytics Robocall Technology Act, would require the FCC to report to Congress on the effectiveness of call blocking programs. The DART Act builds on S. 151, the Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence (TRACED) Act, which Crapo co-sponsored and was signed into law on December 30, 2019. The TRACED Act requires call authentication to prevent caller ID spoofing and increases penalties for illegal robocalls.
Text of the legislation can be found HERE.