CONCORD — Attorney General Gordon J. MacDonald announced that as a result of a bipartisan, public/private coalition of 51 attorneys general and 12 phone companies, eight principles to fight illegal robocalls have been adopted. This agreement will help protect phone users from illegal robocalls and make it easier for attorneys general to investigate and prosecute bad actors.

“The No. 1 job of all attorneys general is to ensure the protection of the citizens in our states,” said MacDonald. “Through the nationwide collaboration of attorneys general and industry leaders, we are setting forth a plan, in real time, to protect our citizens by combating burdensome and dangerous robocalls. The principles announced today will address a technological problem with a technological solution and are aimed at preventing robocalls through call blocking, call labeling and network improvements as well as greater enforcement actions.”

Phone companies will work to prevent illegal robocalls by:

• Implementing call-blocking technology at the network level at no cost to customers.

• Making available to customers additional, free, easy-to-use call blocking and labeling tools.

• Implementing technology to authenticate that callers are coming from a valid source.

• Monitoring their networks for robocall traffic.

Phone companies will assist attorneys’ general anti-robocall enforcement by:

• Knowing who their customers are so bad actors can be identified and investigated.

• Investigating and taking action against suspicious callers — including notifying law enforcement and state attorneys general.

• Working with law enforcement, including state attorneys general, to trace the origins of illegal robocalls.

• Requiring telephone companies with which they contract to cooperate in traceback identification.

Going forward, phone companies will stay in close communication with the coalition of attorneys general to continue to optimize robocall protections as technology and scammer techniques change.

The coalition of attorneys general, led by North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein, New Hampshire Attorney General MacDonald, and Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill, includes attorneys general from all 50 states and Washington, D.C.

The coalition of companies includes AT&T, Bandwidth, CenturyLink, Charter, Comcast, Consolidated, Frontier, Sprint, T-Mobile, US Cellular, Verizon and Windstream.

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