Rethinking robocalls as a security problem

On Monday, a District Court for the Central District of Illinois handed down a $280 million verdict against Dish for violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), the Telemarketing Act, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Act, and several state telemarketing laws. The claims under all of these Acts are related to the same basic underlying conduct: placing robocalls to consumers without consent. The verdict is the largest fine ever assessed under the TCPA or the FTC Act. It comes a day after the Federal Trade Commission finalized settlements with 18 defendants who had participated in a robocalling operation peddling fake debt relief services. All of this comes while the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has been considering new rules to allow telecommunications carriers to block robocalls and to allow some messages to be sent directly to customers’ voicemail.