The Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee approved by voice vote today S. 151 – the Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence (TRACED) Act, as amended.

The bill was introduced in January by Sens. John Thune, R-S.D., and Edward Markey, D., Mass., and would, among other things, increase civil penalties for robocall rule violators, give regulators more time to track down violators, promotion adoption of phone call identification and blocking technologies, and bring “relevant federal agencies and state attorneys general together to address impediments to criminal prosecution of robocallers who intentionally flout laws,” the senators said earlier this year.

In particular, the bill would broader the authority of the Federal Communications Commission to levy fines of up to $10,000 per call on people who “intentionally flout telemarketing restrictions,” and would expand–to three years–the current one-year window the FCC has to catch violators.

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John Curran
John Curran
John Curran is MeriTalk's Managing Editor covering the intersection of government and technology.