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S.C. attorney general joins legal battle against illegal robocalls

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S.C. Attorney General Alan Wilson has joined a bipartisan coalition of his fellow attorneys general to work with a dozen phone companies to battle illegal robocalls.

The phone companies have agreed to adopt eight principles (.pdf) to help protect phone users from illegal robocalls and to make it easier for attorneys general to investigate and prosecute cases, according to a news release from Wilson’s office.

Participating phone companies include AT&T, Bandwidth, CenturyLink, Charter Communications, Comcast, Consolidated Communications, Frontier Communications Corp., Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular, Verizon, and Windstream.

Participating phone companies will work to prevent the unwanted automated calls by implementing call-blocking technology and by making call blocking and labeling tools available to customers. They also say they will implement technology to authenticate that calls are being made from a valid source and will monitor their networks for robocall traffic.

The phone companies agreed to investigate and act on suspicious callers and to notify law enforcement and attorneys general of suspicious activities. They plan to work with law enforcement agencies to trace the origins of the calls.

North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein is leading the coalition, along with Attorneys General Gordon MacDonald of New Hampshire and Curtis Hill of Indiana.

“Robocalls are frustrating for all of us because we all get them, and to make that frustration worse, it’s very difficult for us to do anything about them at the state level,” Wilson said. “This agreement should make a difference that will help us all because it involves all 50 states and D.C. and the major cellphone companies.”

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