< Back to S. 2624 (110th Congress, 2007–2009)

Text of the Robocall Privacy Act of 2008

This bill was introduced on February 12, 2008, in a previous session of Congress, but was not enacted. The text of the bill below is as of Feb 12, 2008 (Introduced).

Source: GPO

II

110th CONGRESS

2d Session

S. 2624

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

February 12, 2008

(for herself, Mr. Specter, Mr. Inouye, and Mr. Durbin) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Rules and Administration

A BILL

To regulate political robocalls.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Robocall Privacy Act of 2008.

2.

Findings

Congress makes the following findings:

(1)

Abusive political robocalls harass voters and discourage them from participating in the political process.

(2)

Abusive political robocalls infringe on the privacy rights of individuals by disturbing them in their homes.

3.

Definitions

For purposes of this Act—

(1)

Political robocall

The term political robocall means any outbound telephone call—

(A)

in which a person is not available to speak with the person answering the call, and the call instead plays a recorded message; and

(B)

which promotes, supports, attacks, or opposes a candidate for Federal office.

(2)

Identity

The term identity means, with respect to any individual making a political robocall or causing a political robocall to be made, the name of the sponsor or originator of the call.

(3)

Specified period

The term specified period means, with respect to any candidate for Federal office who is promoted, supported, attacked, or opposed in a political robocall—

(A)

the 60-day period ending on the date of any general, special, or run-off election for the office sought by such candidate; and

(B)

the 30-day period ending on the date of any primary or preference election, or any convention or caucus of a political party that has authority to nominate a candidate, for the office sought by such candidate.

(4)

Other definitions

The terms candidate and Federal office have the respective meanings given such terms under section 301 of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 (2 U.S.C. 431).

4.

Regulation of political robocalls

It shall be unlawful for any person during the specified period to make a political robocall or to cause a political robocall to be made—

(1)

to any person during the period beginning at 9 p.m. and ending at 8 a.m. in the place which the call is directed;

(2)

to the same telephone number more than twice on the same day;

(3)

without disclosing, at the beginning of the call—

(A)

that the call is a recorded message; and

(B)

the identity of the person making the call or causing the call to be made; or

(4)

without transmitting the telephone number and the name of the person making the political robocall or causing the political robocall to be made to the caller identification service of the recipient.

5.

Enforcement

(a)

Enforcement by Federal Election Commission

(1)

In general

Any person aggrieved by a violation of section 4 may file a complaint with the Federal Election Commission under rules similar to the rules under section 309(a) of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 (2 U.S.C. 437g(a)).

(2)

Civil penalty

(A)

In general

If the Federal Election Commission or any court determines that there has been a violation of section 4, there shall be imposed a civil penalty of not more than $1,000 per violation.

(B)

Willful violations

In the case the Federal Election Commission or any court determines that there has been a knowing or willful violation of section 4, the amount of any civil penalty under subparagraph (A) for such violation may be increased to not more than 300 percent of the amount under subparagraph (A).

(b)

Private right of action

Any person may bring in an appropriate district court of the United States an action based on a violation of section 4 to enjoin such violation without regard to whether such person has filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission.