H.R. 1258: Truth in Caller ID Act of 2009

H.R. 1258

Truth in Caller ID Act of 2009

Sponsor
Rep. Eliot L. Engel

Date
April 14, 2010 (111th Congress, 2nd Session)

Staff Contact
Communications

Floor Situation

The House is scheduled to consider H.R. 1258 on April 14, 2010, under suspension of the rules, requiring a two-thirds majority vote for passage. H.R. 1258 was introduced on March 3, 2009, by Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY). The Committee on Energy and Commerce ordered the bill to be reported by voice vote on March 10, 2010.

Bill Summary

H.R. 1258 would make it illegal to cause any Caller ID service to transmit misleading or inaccurate Caller ID information with the intent to defraud or deceive. Prohibitions under the bill would apply to both traditional telephone and voice over Internet protocol (VOIP) services.

The bill would clarify that it would not prohibit the use of false phone numbers in lawful law enforcement investigations and intelligence activities. The measure also clarifies that it would not be illegal to have a blocked number that does not appear on Caller ID.

The Federal Communications Commission would be required, within six months of the enactment, to determine whether the regulations should be revised to restrict non-commercial calls to residential telephone lines using an artificial or pre-recorded voice.

 

Background

Caller ID allows consumers to see the names and telephone numbers of incoming calls. Recently, criminals have been calling victims and changing ("spoofing") their phone number on Caller ID, leading the victim to believe that somebody else is calling. Under current law, "spoofing" is both legal and easy to carry out.

Cost

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) expects that developing and enforcing regulations required by H.R. 1258 would cost about $1 million annually, assuming appropriation of the necessary amounts. However, under current law, the FCC is authorized to collect fees from the telecommunications industry sufficient to offset the cost of its regulatory program. Therefore, CBO estimates the net budgetary impact of H.R. 1258 would be negligible.