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S 722, Telemarketer Identification Act of 2001.
Sponsor: Sen. Bill Frist (R-TN).
Date Introduced: April 5, 2001.
Source: Congressional Record.

S. 722

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,


This Act may be cited as the ``Telemarketer Identification Act of 2001''.


(a) IN GENERAL.--Section 227 of the Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 227) is amended--

    (1) by redesignating subsections (e) and (f) as subsections (f) and (g), respectively; and

    (2) by inserting after subsection (d) the following new subsection (e):


      ``(1) IN GENERAL.--It shall be unlawful for any person or entity within the United States, in making any commercial telephone solicitation, to interfere with or circumvent the ability of a caller identification service to access or provide to the recipient of the call the information about the call (as required under the regulations issued under paragraph (2)) that such service is capable of providing.

      ``(2) REGULATIONS.--Not later than 18 months after the date of the enactment of the Telemarketer Identification Act of 2001, the Commission shall prescribe regulations to implement this subsection. The regulations shall--

        ``(A) require any person or entity making a commercial telephone solicitation to make such solicitation in a manner such that a recipient of such solicitation having a caller identification service capable of providing such information will be provided by such service with--

          ``(i) the name of the person or entity on whose behalf such solicitation is being made, or the name of the person or entity making the solicitation; and

          ``(ii) a valid and working telephone number at which the person or entity making such solicitation or the person or entity on whose behalf such solicitation was made may be reached during regular business hours for the purpose of requesting that the recipient of such solicitation be placed on the do-not-call list required under section 64.1200 of the Commission's regulations (47 CFR 64.1200) to be maintained by the person making such solicitation; and

        ``(B) provide that any person or entity who receives a request from a person to be placed on such do-not-call list may not use such person's name and telephone number for any other telemarketing purpose (including transfer or sale to any other entity for telemarketing use) other than enforcement of such list.

      ``(3) PRIVATE RIGHT OF ACTION.--A person or entity may, if otherwise permitted by the laws or rules of court of a State, bring in an appropriate court of that State--

        ``(A) an action based on a violation of this subsection or the regulations prescribed under this subsection to enjoin such violation;

        ``(B) an action to recover for actual monetary loss from such a violation, or to receive $500 in damages for each such violation, whichever is greater; or

        ``(C) both such actions.

      If the court finds that the defendant willfully or knowingly violated this subsection or the regulations prescribed under this subsection, the court may, in its discretion, increase the amount of the award to an amount equal to not more than 3 times the amount available under subparagraph (B).

      ``(4) DEFINITIONS.--In this subsection:

        ``(A) CALLER IDENTIFICATION SERVICE.--The term `caller identification service' means any service or device designed to provide the user of the service or device with the telephone number of an incoming telephone call.

        ``(B) TELEPHONE CALL.--The term `telephone call' means any telephone call or other transmission which is made to or received at a telephone number of any type of telephone service. Such term includes calls made by an automatic telephone dialing system, an integrated services digital network, and a commercial mobile radio source.''.


    (1) IN GENERAL.--The regulations prescribed by the Federal Communications Commission under subsection (e) of section 227 of the Communications Act of 1934, as added by subsection (a), shall take effect on the date that is two years after the date of the enactment of this Act.

    (2) ADDITIONAL DELAY FOR GOOD CAUSE SHOWN.--The Commission may grant a wavier from compliance with the regulations referred to in paragraph (1) for a period of not more than 24 months upon application (made at such time, in such form, and containing such information as the Commission may require), and after notice to the public and an opportunity for comment, to any person who demonstrates to the satisfaction of the Commission that--

      (A) it will comply with the regulations before the expiration of the period of time for which the waiver is requested;

      (B) without the requested waiver, timely compliance with the regulations would be technically infeasible because of technical problems associated with the telecommunications equipment used by the applicant; and

      (C) replacement or upgrading of the telecommunications equipment used by the applicant in order to comply with the regulations in a timely manner without the waiver--

        (i) would impose an unduly onerous financial burden on the applicant;

        (ii) is not feasible because the equipment, software, or technical assistance necessary for the replacement or upgrade is not available; or

        (iii) cannot be completed before the effective date of the regulations.


(a) EFFECT ON STATE LAW.--Subsection (f)(1) of section 227 of the Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 227), as redesignated by section 2 of this Act, is further amended--

    (1) in subparagraph (C), by striking ``or'' at the end;

    (2) in subparagraph (D), by striking the period and inserting ``; or''; and

    (3) by adding at the end the following new subparagraph:

    ``(E) interfering with or circumventing caller identification services.''.

(b) ACTIONS BY STATES.--The first sentence of subsection (g)(1) of such section 227, as so redesignated, is further amended by inserting after ``this section,'' the following: ``or has engaged or is engaging in a pattern or practice of interfering with or circumventing caller identification services of residents of that State in violation of subsection (e) or the regulations prescribed under such subsection,''.


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