The FCC has taken two steps against unscrupulous abuse: It adopted a Report and Order aimed at confronting scam text messaging and broadened provider obligations to implement the STIR/SHAKEN caller ID authentication framework in the battle against illegal robocalls.

The Report and Order on robotexts requires blocking of text messages that appear to come from phone numbers that are unlikely to transmit messages. These include those coming from numbers that the subscriber says are never used for texts such as numbers that are invalid, unallocated and unused. It also covers numbers used by government agencies and other well-known entities that are not used for texting.

Another adopted rule requires wireless providers, their aggregator partners or blocking contractors to establish a point of contact where senders can inquire about blocked texts.

The FCC also is seeking comment on proposals to require providers to block texts from those that the commission considers illegal robotexters. It proposes clarifying that the Do-Not-Call Registry extends to text messaging. It also proposes closing the lead generator loophole, which enables companies to use a single consumer consent to send messages from multiple marketers on subjects that likely were not intended by the individual.

The FCC says that complaints on illegal robotexts increase from 3,300 to 18,900 per year between 2015 and 2022.

The new STIR/SHAKEN rules require intermediate providers that receive unauthenticated IP calls directly from domestic originating providers to use the STIR/SHAKEN to authenticate the calls.

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