New Bill Would Allow Robo-Calls to Mobile Phones

Discussion in 'Politics' started by DirkDigler, Oct 1, 2011.

  1. Yeah - just what we need.
    A bill proposed in Congress last week sponsored by Representatives Lee Terry and Edolphis Towns aims to amend the Communications Act of 1934 to allow "informational calls to mobile telephones and for other purposes." Basically, it is a bill that would allow robo-calls from marketers and political campaigns (among other entities) to mobile phones.

    Marketers and campaigns still crave phone numbers as the number one target of consumer information. It is not your email address, Twitter handle or Facebook profile. The baseline information for marketers continues to be your phone number and your physical address. That is the closest they can get to you, your mailbox and landline phone. This bill would bring them even closer - straight into your pocket.

    Everybody who has ever had a landline phone, which is still most of the U.S. population, has gotten one of these calls. They are at best intrusive, at worst harassing. Especially during campaign season. Like it or not, this is in the future of U.S. citizens.

    The act itself is officially called the Mobile Informational Call Act of 2011. The Communications Act of 1934 governs telecommunications, broadcast television and radio. It has been amended several times through the years to adapt to changing technology. This amendment would bridge the gap of current rules allowed for robo-calls to landlines over to the cellular side. Here is the main thrust of the amendment:


    Like any amendment to a long-standing bill, a good portion of the actual proposed changes are grammatical in nature. If you have an interest in history or law or are just a giant geek, take a look at the change logs to some of the oldest bills in Congress. They read like the rules implemented by the Modern Language Institute or the Oxford Dictionary. Yet, the changes to Section Two "Definitions" are what the key.

    Basically, it identifies who can be called and how by defining a "business relationship" between the company and the individual.


    What this is saying is that if you make a purchase from a retail store or online and give them your phone number, they can then "information call" basically whenever they want.

    A lot of mobile robo-call legislation currently resides with the states. For instance, I have a Virginia phone number. Right after this story crossed my eyes this morning, I coincidentally then got a robo-call from a marketer. The Informational Call Act of 2011 would take that power of legislation from the states, making the federal law the one that governs robo-calls to mobile phones.

    The bill has gone through the introduction stage and is currently awaiting the report of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce before going to vote on the floor.
  2. pspr


    Just what we need. Sales calls to our cell phones. I already am starting to get text message spam. They need to make that illegal, too.

    I suggest everyone with an iPhone download the Visible Vote app and send an email to all your representatives in government to defeat this bill.
  3. Eight


    Bush gave us the Do Not Call List.... does this thing override our wishes in that regard?
  4. Lucrum


    I still get calls, on my cell phone. Sounds like this will only make it worse.
  5. BSAM


    1. This will never pass.
    2. Never give your telephone number to a store.
    The clerk will have a line for you when you refuse, so let me repeat this again: Never give your telephone number to a store.
    "Oh, but we don't use it for any purpose other than our monthly drawing for a thousand dollars in merchandise here at the store."
    ...Let me repeat this again: NEVER GIVE YOUR PHONE NUMBER TO A STORE.

    3. Got it?
  6. 1) Don't be naive!
    2) Don't be naive!
    3) Don't be naive!

    It's very easy to say, "This will never pass" on just about any bill. I mean the vast majority of them never make it out of committee. This bill is a bit different given:

    1) The "status" of sponsor Lee Terry
    2) Support by the coalition of debt collection and banking groups
    3) Recent revision(s) of the TCPA by the FCC
    4) The bill fits well with BO's deficit reduction plan

    Does all that mean it will pass, of course not. I too believe it has an uphill battle, however the way it is being positioned gives it a better than average fighting chance.
  7. I always give a made up number to stores.
  8. Eight


    use a google voice number in case you do win something...
  9. TGregg


    #@&^, so YOU are the one!? I keep getting calls for jficquette on my cell.

    Bastid. ;)