Feeds

FCC waves big fines at political robocallers

Stop mobile spam or face $16,000-per-call bill

Build a business case: developing custom apps

The US Federal Communications Commission has cited two robocalling operations used for political calls and says the companies have 15 days to stop or they will get fined $4.8m and/or $16,000 per call.

"Consumers have increasingly been sounding the alarm on robocalls, rightly complaining about unwanted, intrusive cell phone calls and text messages from strangers, or worse yet computers," said Michele Ellison, chief of the FCC's enforcement bureau said in a statement. "These citations set the stage for significant monetary penalties if violations continue,"

The two operations, Dialing Services (which was acting for the Republicans) and Richard Gilmore's company, Democratic Dialing (guess who they work for?), have been investigated by the FCC since last year, and the FCC has now put the hammer down. If they carry on spamming calls, the agency warns it will shut them down.

US politicians splashed out over $6bn in last year's election cycle, and robocalls made up a reasonable – and highly annoying - proportion of that. In the case of these companies, the FCC is particularly ticked off because they targeted mobile-phone users.

Robocalls are allowed to contact mobile phones but only in an emergency situation, such as a hurricane or earthquake. Furthermore, the FCC's checks showed that none of the recipients had given their prior consent to being called.

The FCC has been cracking the whip on robocallers of late. It's currently offering $50,000 in prizes to people who can come up with a way to safely block the practice, and it shut down five operations in the last year. ®

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

More from The Register

next story
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
UK Parliament rubber-stamps EMERGENCY data grab 'n' keep bill
Just 49 MPs oppose Drip's rushed timetable
MPs wave through Blighty's 'EMERGENCY' surveillance laws
Only 49 politcos voted against DRIP bill
EU's top data cops to meet Google, Microsoft et al over 'right to be forgotten'
Plan to hammer out 'coherent' guidelines. Good luck chaps!
US judge: YES, cops or feds so can slurp an ENTIRE Gmail account
Crooks don't have folders labelled 'drug records', opines NY beak
Delaware pair nabbed for getting saucy atop Mexican eatery
Burrito meets soft taco in alleged rooftop romp outrage
LightSquared backer sues FCC over spectrum shindy
Why, we might as well have been buying AIR
prev story

Whitepapers

Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.