New York enacts robocall blocking and stir/shaken laws

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Nov, 2021 -- New York Governor Kathy Hochul has signed into law two bills that address robocall issues.

The first bill, S-6267/A-268 , requires telecommunications providers to block certain numbers. As described by the Governor’s announcement ( ), the bill “codifies in state law the provisions of a rule released by the FCC in 2017, that went into effect in June of 2021, that allows telecommunications companies to proactively block calls from certain numbers. These would include calls that are the most likely to be illegitimate, as they are coming from numbers that do not or cannot make outgoing calls. These types of numbers are indicative of ‘spoofing’ schemes in which the true caller identity is masked behind a fake, invalid number.”

The second bill, S-4281/A-585, requires that voice service providers implement the STIR/SHAKEN protocols to validate that calls are actually coming from the numbers displayed on the Caller ID. Again, the announcement explained that the bill “requires voice services providers to implement the STIR/SHAKEN call authentication framework. In March of 2020, the FCC, pursuant to the federal TRACED Act, issued a rule requiring providers to implement STIR/SHAKEN by June of 2021. This bill will provide for enhanced state enforcement for bad actors and will allow the state to ensure the implementation of STIR/SHAKEN as required by the FCC. The STIR/SHAKEN authentication protocol uses cryptography to validate that a call is really from the number it displays, preventing bad actors from illegally “spoofing” phone numbers. STIR/SHAKEN also makes it much easier to trace illegal calls back to their source, since each call will have-an identification assigned to it. Once the source is identified, enforcement actions can be taken against the perpetrators.”

In signing the bills, the Governor observed “New Yorkers are fed up with annoying, predatory robocalls, and we’re taking action to stop them….” She added that “[t]his legislation will enable telecom companies to prevent these calls from coming in in the first place, as well as empower our state government to ensure that voice service providers are validating who is making these calls so enforcement action can be taken against bad actors.”

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