New York Turns Up the Heat Against Illegal Robocallers and Carriers of Voice Traffic with Two New Laws

New York’s Governor signed into law two bills on November 8, 2021 that will require telecommunications service providers in the state to increase robocall protections by requiring STIR/SHAKEN implementation and blocking of calls to certain numbers. The first law codifies the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) regulations into state law.  Although it does not expand upon the FCC’s rules, the new law includes significant penalties that may be imposed on non-compliant companies.

New State Law #1:  New York Mandates STIR/SHAKEN Implementation

S.4281a/A.585a amends the General Business Law to require any voice service provider interconnected with the public switched telephone network providing voice communication services to end-users to, within 12 months, implement the STIR/SHAKEN authentication framework or alternative (comparable or superior) technology to verify and authenticate caller identification on the provider’s internet protocol (IP) network, codifying FCC rules in state law. Providers that knowingly fail or neglect to comply must pay a civil penalty of at least $10,000/day up to a maximum of $100,000/day (emphasis added).

Proving STIR/SHAKEN Implementation

Filing a certification with the FCC that traffic is signed with STIR/SHAKEN or subject to a compliance robocall mitigation program (presumably that a Robocall Mitigation Plan has been filed in the Robocall Mitigation Database) is sufficient to prove compliance under the new law in New York.

Public Service Commission Powers

The new law empowers the New York State Public Service Commission (PSC) to (1) request, in writing or via a subsequent subpoena, that a provider produce “relevant documents and records” and (2) promulgate implementing rules and regulations. Failure to comply with a PSC subpoena can result in a civil penalty of up to $1,000/day.

Significant Penalties May Have Already Started to Accrue as of Monday, November 8

The law is effective immediately, potentially exposing non-compliant providers to a minimum $10,000/day penalty as of Monday (potentially resulting in a minimum civil penalty of $30,000). Non-compliant providers should contact us immediately to attempt to avoid penalties or continued exposure.

New State Law #2:  New York Directs Providers to Block Calls from Certain Numbers

S.6267a/A.268a also amends the General Business Law and mandates providers proactively block inbound calls from suspicious sources. Specifically, providers must block calls originating from numbers (and may rely on caller identification service information to determine an originating numbers) that:

  1. A subscriber has requested providers block calls purporting to originate from because the number is used for inbound calls only;
  2. Are not valid North American Numbering Plan (NANP) numbers;
  3. Are valid NANP numbers, but not allocated to a provider by the NANP Administrator or Pooling Administrator; or
  4. Are valid, allocated NANP numbers, but are unused, if the provider blocking calls is the number allocatee and confirms the number is unused at the time of blocking.

Providers cannot block emergency calls placed to 911 or to subscribers that request no inbound calls be blocked. The bill does not specify a specific penalty outside of those generally available via New York statues or PSC regulations for failure to comply.

New state laws affecting telemarketers, robocallers, and the service providers that facilitate robocalling are likely to spread.  The robocall mitigation regulatory and enforcement ecosystem continues to evolve at a rapid pace and warrants close monitoring by all businesses responsible for the origination, transmission, and termination of voice calls.

NEED HELP WITH ROBOCALL MITIGATION, COMPLIANCE AND LITIGATION SUPPORT/DEFENSE AGAINST BUSINESS & LEGAL CHALLENGES?

The CommLaw Group Can Help!

Given the complexity and evolving nature of the FCC’s rules, regulations and industry policies & procedures around Robocall Mitigation and Compliance issues (e.g., Stir/Shaken, TRACED Act, FCC Rules & Regulations, US Telecom Industry group, ATIS, NECA, VoIP Numbering Waivers, Know Your Customer and the private sector ecosystem), as well as the increased risk of business disputes, consumer protection enforcement by state attorneys general, and even civil litigation, and anticipating the potential torrent of client questions and concerns, The CommLaw Group formed a “Robocall Mitigation Response Team” to help clients (old and new) tackle their unique responsibilities.  

CONTACT US NOW, WE ARE STANDING BY TO GUIDE YOUR COMPANY’S COMPLIANCE EFFORTS

Rob Jackson – Tel: 703-714-1316 / E-mail: rhj@CommLawGroup.com
Ron Quirk – Tel: (703) 714-1305 / E-mail: req@CommLawGroup.com 

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