Bipartisan Coalition of 52 Attorneys General Send USTelecom Letter Outlining Plan to Strengthen Illegal Robocall Enforcement
This letter marks approximately eight months since fifty-one state attorneys general and twelve leading voice service providers (“VSPs”) promulgated the Anti-Robocall Principles (“Principles”) in order to more effectively combat the unwanted and illegal robocalls inundating the American people. The collaboration reflected in the Principles is intended to halt the onslaught of such calls and to “aid the State Attorneys General in identifying and prosecuting illegal robocallers.” The state attorneys general and telecom industry participants also supported efforts by the U.S. Congress to enact the TRACED Act, which focuses on tracing illegal robocalls in addition to other sweeping anti-robocall measures.
For more than 40 years, LSC funding has helped veterans and military families secure important benefits, supported survivors of domestic violence, and assisted families facing foreclosure, victims of natural disasters, seniors and disabled Americans. Today it is also an essential support for rural and low-income Americans, as well as families affected by opioids and addiction.
Access to the judicial system, whether federal or state, is a fundamental right of all Americans. That right should extend fully to persons who have been subjected to sexual harassment in the workplace. Yet, many employers require their employees, as a condition of employment, to sign arbitration agreements mandating that sexual harassment claims be resolved through arbitration instead of judicial proceedings.
The Road to Recovery Act will remove an unnecessary restriction on Medicaid funding for in-patient drug treatment. The restriction is a holdover from the original 1965 Medicaid law that was intended to discourage the use of inhumane and ineffective state-run asylums. The bill will remove this restriction for drug treatment while appropriately keeping it in place for mental health institutions. This change has been called for by providers, the medical establishment, governors of both parties and the President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis because it will make treatment affordable for those who need it, and create market incentives for new treatment resources. The bill also contains a provision to make it easier for children to access drug treatment.
Unfortunately, there are three significant barriers to treating opioid use disorder that we cannot change at the state level and that must be tackled at the federal level. We share these barriers below in the hope that we can work together to remove them and allow more providers to offer treatment for opioid use disorder and other substance use disorders.
The Act both confirms law enforcement’s ability to obtain probable-caused-based warrants for electronic communications stored abroad and creates a clear avenue for service providers to challenge an SCA warrant that targets a foreign person and which would require a provider to violate foreign law.
We believe that the District should receive $1.25 billion for purposes of the relief package. The District has nearly 200 confirmed coronavirus cases, which outpaces nearly two dozen states and territories. Indeed, as a densely populated urban center, the District is uniquely vulnerable to the spread of the virus and is already experiencing significant economic loss due to the ongoing public health emergency.
As the primary enforcers of our respective states’ consumer protection laws, we offer a unique perspective as to the new legalized market of certain cannabis and cannabis-derived compounds, including CBD products. We write to express our hope that the FDA continues to explore manufacturing, testing, and marketing best practices so that consumers are not at risk of misleading advertising or harm to their health from dangerous additives or undisclosed risks of use. Although products containing cannabis or cannabis-derived compounds may well offer real benefits to consumers, it is important that consumers have reliable risk and benefit information to make informed choices about initiating and continuing the use of these products. A crucial element of FDA regulation and oversight should be an on-going assessment of the potential risks or benefits of these products, particularly for specific populations such as pregnant women, adolescents and children, and the elderly. How these products interact with other dietary or pharmaceutical products should be included in this assessment. It is also important that companies not mislead consumers. Scientific and medical data from the FDA would assist in meaningful enforcement of advertising laws and regulations by the states.
In 2013 and again in 2017, Attorneys General from virtually every state and territory wrote to inform Congress of a damaging misinterpretation and misapplication of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996 (CDA) that rendered state and local authorities unable to enforce criminal laws against companies that actively profited from the promotion and facilitation of sex trafficking and crimes against children. To be sure, we are grateful for all the work you have done to protect the vulnerable among us. To bootstrap your efforts, we renew our recommendation for a modest but necessary amendment to the CDA. We must enable our state and local authorities to protect our citizens, including the most vulnerable among us, and to take appropriate action against criminal actors.
We believe that this legislation effectively addresses many of the concerns raised by federal regulators, voice service providers, private businesses, consumer advocacy groups, and other interested parties to combat illegal robocalls and spoofing, and we are heartened that it enables the telecom industry, federal regulators, and our offices to take meaningful steps to abate the rapid proliferation of these illegal and unwanted robocalls.