Gov. Hochul to sign bills cracking down on invasive robocalls

Bernadette Hogan for NY Post

November 08, 2021

Originally published in NY Post on November 08, 2021.

Bye-bye, robocalls.

Gov. Kathy Hochul is poised to sign a pair of bills Monday that will require phone companies to block and screen unwanted calls, The Post has learned.

“New Yorkers are fed up with annoying, predatory robocalls, and we’re taking action to stop them,” said Hochul in a statement.

“This 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.” 

The first bill, sponsored by state Sen. Jeremey Cooney (D-Rochester) and Assemblywoman Amy Paulin (D-Westchester), will codify part of a rule released by the Federal Communications Commission that took effect in June 2021 permitting companies to block pesky calls on their own. 

The new law will allow service providers to prohibit calls from numbers that can’t make outgoing calls or from fake numbers that conceal a caller’s identity. 

The second bill, sponsored by state Sen. Todd Kaminsky (D-Nassau) and Paulin, also builds on the FCC’s “STIR/SHAKEN” Act regulations and will put the public service commission — the state’s utility regulator — in charge of policing an internet service provider’s call verification and caller identification protocols.

Noncompliant companies will be subject to a $10,000 fine or maximum penalty of $100,000 per offense.

Annoying robocalls account for over 60 percent of all FCC complaints received. Within the first five months of 2018 alone, Americans received roughly 16.3 billion calls, according to CNBC.

Both bills will take effect immediately after being signed.