In a 2-1 decision, a panel of the D.C. Circuit concluded that the FCC does not have authority to require companies to include opt-out notices on faxes that are sent with the prior express consent of the recipient.
On March 23rd, the FCC issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) and Notice of Inquiry (NOI) to continue its fight against illegal and unwanted robocalls. The NPRM proposes rules that, if they become effective, would empower voice service providers to block illegal robocalls and calls that display false CallerID information. According to data cited by Commissioner Clyburn, 43 percent of the consumer complaints filed with the FCC in the second half of 2016 were related to robocalls, and 2.2 billion robocalls were placed nationwide in February 2017 alone.
On January 31, 2017, President Donald J. Trump nominated Neil Gorsuch, a judge on the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, to fill a vacancy on the United States Supreme Court created by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. While Gorsuch must receive Senate confirmation before he can sit on the Supreme Court, he is generally considered to be well qualified. Gorsuch’s nomination could have significant impact on the future of the TCPA.
On November 17, 2016, the Enforcement Bureau of the FCC and the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Mutual Assistance in the Enforcement of Laws on Automated Telephone Calls and Inaccurate Caller Identification (MOU).
The FCC’s Enforcement Bureau sent a roboshot across the bow today to those who send autodialed text messages, which the Bureau refers to as “robotexts.” You won’t find the term “robotext” in the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 (“TCPA”), the FCC’s regulations implementing that law, or any FCC order interpreting or applying that law, but the Enforcement Bureau issued an Advisory today reminding “robotext” senders that they must comply with the TCPA—or face significant monetary forfeiture penalties if they do not.