Senate passes bipartisan robocall deterrent act

PIERRE, S.D. (KOTA-TV) - A bipartisan bill sponsored by a South Dakota senator passed by unanimous vote on Thursday.

According to Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg, the U.S. Senate approved the Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrance (TRACED) Act on a unanimous voice vote.

The anti-robocall bill would task the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to implement a stricter call identification framework on two-way caller providers, including telephone and internet calling services.

The caller ID system, sometimes referred to as the SHAKEN/STIR framework, would determine the legitimacy of a caller's "signature" - their ID token - and more accurately identify scammers.

This would also help law enforcement agencies locate the source of robocall scammers.

Sens. John Thune (R-SD) and Ed Markey (D-MA) sponsored the TRACED Act together. Thune introduced the bill in mid-January earlier this year.

The House of Representatives passed the bill two weeks before the Thursday vote. President Donald Trump is expected to sign the act into law at a later date.

The National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) brought 54 AG's across both political aisles to support the bill's signing.

In a press release, Ravnsborg celebrated the cooperation between political parties.

“I am pleased to see Congress working together on an issue that impacts all South Dakotans,” Ravnsborg said. “Thank you to Senator John Thune for working to provide us the tools to block unwanted calls, reduce robocalls, and hold telemarketers and robocallers accountable.”