IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
April 24, 2006
Mr. Nelson of Florida (for himself and Ms. Snowe) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation
To amend the Communications Act of 1934 to prohibit manipulation of caller identification information.
This Act may be cited as the
Truth in Caller ID Act of
Prohibition regarding manipulation of caller identification information
Section 227 of the Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 227) is amended—
by redesignating subsections (e), (f), and (g) as subsections (f), (g), and (h), respectively; and
by inserting after subsection (d) the following new subsection:
Prohibition on provision of inaccurate caller identification information
It shall be unlawful for any person within the United States, in connection with any telecommunications service or IP-enabled voice service, to cause any caller identification service to transmit misleading or inaccurate caller identification information, unless such transmission is exempted pursuant to paragraph (3)(B).
Protection for blocking caller identification information
Nothing in this subsection may be construed to prevent or restrict any person from blocking the capability of any caller identification service to transmit caller identification information.
Not later than 6 months after the enactment of this subsection, the Commission shall prescribe regulations to implement this subsection.
Content of regulations
The regulations required under subparagraph (A) shall include such exemptions from the prohibition under paragraph (1) as the Commission determines appropriate.
Specific exemption for law enforcement agencies or court orders
The regulations required under subparagraph (A) shall exempt from the prohibition under paragraph (1) transmissions in connection with—
any authorized activity of a law enforcement agency; or
a court order that specifically authorizes the use of caller identification manipulation.
Not later than 6 months after the enactment of this subsection, the Commission shall report to Congress whether additional legislation is necessary to prohibit the provision of inaccurate caller identification information in technologies that are successor or replacement technologies to telecommunications service or IP-enabled voice service.
Any person that is determined by the Commission, in accordance with paragraphs (3) and (4) of section 503(b), to have violated this subsection shall be liable to the United States for a forfeiture penalty. A forfeiture penalty under this paragraph shall be in addition to any other penalty provided for by this Act. The amount of the forfeiture penalty determined under this paragraph shall not exceed $10,000 for each violation, or 3 times that amount for each day of a continuing violation, except that the amount assessed for any continuing violation shall not exceed a total of $1,000,000 for any single act or failure to act.
Any forfeiture penalty determined under clause (i) shall be recoverable pursuant to section 504(a).
No forfeiture liability shall be determined under clause (i) against any person unless such person receives the notice required by section 503(b)(3) or section 503(b)(4).
2-year statute of limitations
No forfeiture penalty shall be determined or imposed against any person under clause (i) if the violation charged occurred more than 2 years prior to the date of issuance of the required notice or notice or apparent liability.
Any person who willfully and knowingly violates this subsection shall upon conviction thereof be fined not more than $10,000 for each violation, or 3 times that amount for each day of a continuing violation, in lieu of the fine provided by section 501 for such a violation. This subparagraph does not supersede the provisions of section 501 relating to imprisonment or the imposition of a penalty of both fine and imprisonment.
Enforcement by States
The chief legal officer of a State, or any other State officer authorized by law to bring actions on behalf of the residents of a State, may bring a civil action, as parens patriae, on behalf of the residents of that State in an appropriate district court of the United States to enforce this subsection or to impose the civil penalties for violation of this subsection, whenever the chief legal officer or other State officer has reason to believe that the interests of the residents of the State have been or are being threatened or adversely affected by a violation of this subsection or a regulation under this subsection.
The chief legal officer or other State officer shall serve written notice on the Commission of any civil action under subparagraph (A) prior to initiating such civil action. The notice shall include a copy of the complaint to be filed to initiate such civil action, except that if it is not feasible for the State to provide such prior notice, the State shall provide such notice immediately upon instituting such civil action.
Authority to intervene
Upon receiving the notice required by subparagraph (B), the Commission may intervene in such civil action and upon intervening—
be heard on all matters arising in such civil action; and
file petitions for appeal of a decision in such civil action.
For purposes of bringing any civil action under subparagraph (A), nothing in this paragraph shall prevent the chief legal officer or other State officer from exercising the powers conferred on that officer by the laws of such State to conduct investigations or to administer oaths or affirmations or to compel the attendance of witnesses or the production of documentary and other evidence.
Venue; Service or process
An action brought under subparagraph (A) shall be brought in a district court of the United States that meets applicable requirements relating to venue under section 1391 of title 28, United States Code.
Service of process
In an action brought under subparagraph (A)—
process may be served without regard to the territorial limits of the district or of the State in which the action is instituted; and
a person who participated in an alleged violation that is being litigated in the civil action may be joined in the civil action without regard to the residence of the person.
Limitation on State action while Federal action is pending
If the Commission has instituted an enforcement action or proceeding for violation of this subsection, the chief legal officer or other State officer of the State in which the violation occurred may not bring an action under this section during the pendency of the proceeding against any person with respect to whom the Commission has instituted the proceeding.
For purposes of this subsection:
Caller identification information
information means information provided by a caller identification
service regarding the telephone number of, or other information regarding the
origination of, a call made using a telecommunications service or IP-enabled
Caller identification service
service means any service or device designed to provide the user of the
service or device with the telephone number of, or other information regarding
the origination of, a call made using a telecommunications service or
IP-enabled voice service. Such term includes automatic number identification
IP-enabled voice service
The term IP-enabled voice service means the provision of real-time 2-way voice communications offered to the public, or such classes of users as to be effectively available to the public, transmitted through customer premises equipment using TCP/IP protocol, or a successor protocol, for a fee (whether part of a bundle of services or separately) with interconnection capability such that the service can originate traffic to, or terminate traffic from, the public switched telephone network.
Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, subsection (f) shall not apply to this subsection or to the regulations under this subsection.