- Click for Restaurant Directory_____

 

A Sign of Our Times

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Grand Jury Report critical of Smithtown town
gover
nments supervision
of commercial
property demolition…

The Grand Jury Report is public record and available at the link below. It is 40 pages, but double spaced, and well worth the few minutes it takes to read it.

Please feel free to share your comments with us.

Click on link for Full Report

 

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Sign of our Times

By Eric Sailor

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« CD 1 Congressman Lee Zeldin's Voting Record May 2019 | Main | Senator Flanagan Offers Scathing Statement After Release Of Convicted Murderer Matthew Solomon »
Thursday
May232019

Schumer - Landmark Robocall Relief Legislation Passes Senate

 

U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer today announced, following his push, the Senate has passed landmark legislation, the Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence (TRACED) Act. The TRACED Act, introduced by U.S. Senators Ed Markey (D-MA) and John Thune (R-SD) and cosponsored by Schumer, would give federal agencies newfound tools and authority to trace, prosecute and enforce fines against robocall scammers, as well as establish new requirements related to call authentication technology that could filter out robocalls before they reach the phones of unsuspecting New Yorkers. The legislation now goes onto the House, where the Senator is urging swift passage to make this law.  

“I’ve been beating the drum on the plague of robocalls for years now, because there’s very little more annoying to New Yorkers than being woken up in the dead of night by automated calls trying to scam them out of their hard-earned money. Today, the Senate has taken a major step forward in this fight by passing the TRACED Act,” said Senator Schumer. “The TRACED Act, at long last, will arm the feds with new tools and authority to trace, prosecute and enforce fines against robocall scammers, as well as set new call authentication requirements designed to filter out robocalls—especially the ones abroad—before they reach the phones of unsuspecting New Yorkers. The TRACED Act is just what we need to hang up on these nonstop robocalls, and the House should follow the Senate’s lead and pass it ASAP.”

Schumer says, despite federal ‘Do Not Call’ rules, robocalls and unwanted spam calls are getting worse by the day in New York City and Long Island, with a staggering 176 million reported in April of this year alone. According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), unwanted and illegal robocalls are the FTC’s number-one complaint category, with more than 3.7 million complaints filed in 2018. Schumer explained that the TRACED Act, once signed into law, will be a new arrow in New York’s quiver to combat the rampage of robocalls throughout the state.

Americans received 4.9 billion robocalls this March – a new record total for the number of calls made in one month. Earlier this year, YouMail reported that 47.7 billion robocalls were made in the U.S. in 2018, a 57 percent increase over the number of calls made the year prior. Additional data shows that in April of this year, New Yorkers received 290.3 million robocalls, which averaged over 112 calls per second and 11 calls per New Yorker. 

The number of robocalls placed to NYC area codes each month so far in 2019 can be found below:

 

 

January

February

March

April

212

3,571,700

3,124,200

3,147,900

2,833,000

332

10,100

21,300

28,700

42,200

347

48,587,500

45,173,900

49,005,800

42,334,100

646

27,825,100

26,343,300

28,215,200

25,348,200

718

23,568,500

21,089,200

23,469,500

20,164,900

917

53,585,800

49,980,500

55,144,700

48,088,600

929

2,753,800

2,853,100

2,982,200

3,049,100

 

The number of robocalls placed to Long Island area codes each month so far in 2019 can be found below:

 

 

January

February

March

April

516

22,750,600

20,883,400

23,247,200

20,831,300

631

15,454,100

13,834,800

14,932,200

13,911,000

934

26,400

21,300

5,600

36,300

 

To hang up on these deceitful robocalls, Schumer will be calling on the House of Representatives to follow the Senate’s lead and expediently vote on and pass the TRACED Act. The TRACED Act would work to combat robocalls by:

 

  1. Giving the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) the ability to fine robocall scheme perpetrators $10,000 per call made.
  2. Increasing the timeframe under which the FCC could find and prosecute robocall schemes from one to three years after a call is placed.
  3. Requiring the Department of Justice (DOJ), FCC, Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Department of Commerce (DOC), Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and other agencies and state officials to issue recommendations to Congress on how to further bolster methods to combat robocalls.
  4. Requiring telecommunications companies to implement effective call authentication technology, which could help stop robocalls before they reach the phones of unsuspecting victims.

 

**Specifically**, this would require companies to implement Signature-based Handling of Asserted Information Using toKENs (SHAKEN) and the Secure Telephone Identity Revisited (STIR) standards. This means that calls traveling through interconnected phone networks would have their caller ID “signed” as legitimate by originating carriers and validated by other carriers before reaching consumers. SHAKEN/STIR digitally validates the handoff of phone calls passing through the complex web of networks, allowing the phone company of the consumer receiving the call to verify that a call is from the person making it.

Robocalls are phone calls that use automated dialing machines to play a pre-recorded message. According to the Federal Trade Commission, 99 percent of robocalls are illegitimate or fraudulent. Illegal robocalls are made by companies or individuals trying to scam the person on the other end of the phone. Many times, these calls are placed using “caller ID spoofing.” Individuals that resort to “caller ID spoofing” use advanced technology to mimic the caller ID of a legitimate entity such as a government agency, credit card company, a bank, or even a next door neighbor. Under the “Truth in Caller ID Act of 2009,” robocalls are illegal if used for the purpose of defrauding or otherwise causing harm. However, despite the fact that many of these calls clearly violate the law, it is difficult if not impossible to catch the perpetrators, many of whom are overseas or hiding behind fake numbers. The TRACED Act will give the feds more time to track down these scammers.

 

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