Appeals court nixes some FCC rules on robocalls

March 16, 2018 by The Associated Press

A federal appeals court rolled back rules intended to deter irritating telemarketing robocalls, saying they were too broad.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia said that 2015 regulations from the Federal Communications Commission could wrongly classify every smartphone as an autodialing device subject to anti-robocall fines.

Those 2015 rules attempted to graft modern definitions onto a 1991 law that predated the iPhone by more than 15 years.

The same court also struck down potential fines for telemarketers who repeatedly call phone numbers reassigned to people who have opted out of such calls.

The ruling was hailed as a win by law firms representing companies that use telemarketers and by FCC chair Ajit Pai. FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel said in a tweet the ruling was "not good."

Explore further: FCC adopts new rules against 'robocalls'

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