Earlier this month we reported on the adoption of the FCC’s new “anti-spoofing” rules. Those rules, mandated by Congress in the Truth in Caller ID Act, make it unlawful to transmit misleading or inaccurate caller ID information – that is, to “spoof” – if the goal is “to defraud, cause harm, or wrongfully obtain anything of value”.
The Commission’s Report and Order has now been published in the Federal Register. As a result, we can report that the new rules will take effect on August 19, 2011.
While the new rules may have been initially conceived as a protection primarily for consumers, the Commission has expressly acknowledged that spoofing committed to “wrongfully avoid payment of intercarrier compensation charges would be a violation” of the rules. That would include spoofing by the originating provider or an intermediate carrier, among others. Thus, when the new rules become effective, they should provide a weapon through which carriers can seek to discourage other carriers from attempting to use spoofing to duck their intercarrier obligations.