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Paul Besozzi

I have practiced in the telecommunications regulatory field, including before the FCC and state regulatory agencies, for some 35 years. This has included advising clients on all manner of compliance, rulemaking, enforcement and legislative issues relating to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act and Junk Fax Act, particularly before the FCC which develops the regulations implementing those statutes. My efforts include reviewing clients' technology and TCPA compliance plans to determine whether they meet FCC requirements and advising on strategies for raising issues with the FCC.

The Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) has adopted rules to address two fraudulent practices that “bad actors use to take control of consumers’ cell phone accounts and wreak havoc on people’s financial and digital lives without ever gaining physical control of the consumer’s phone.”

In its recent Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking released November 16, 2023, the Commission first addressed the practice where bad actors are able to swap a consumer’s subscriber identity module (“SIM”) card to a wireless device associated with a different SIM (i.e., SIM card swap fraud). The agency also acted on wireless number porting fraud, where bad actors impersonate a customer and convince the provider to port the real customer’s telephone number to a new wireless provider and a device that the bad actor controls (i.e., port-out fraud). Continue Reading FCC Acts to Protect Consumer Data by Strengthening Customer Proprietary Network Information and Number Porting Rules

In the last week, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has taken several steps to signal a more assertive and aggressive role for that agency on privacy, data protection and cybersecurity issues.

First, The FCC announced on June 14, 2023, the creation of a Privacy and Data Protection Task Force that will coordinate across the FCC on rulemaking, enforcement and other proceedings impacting privacy and data protection. Among the issues that the Task Force will focus on are data breaches by telecommunications providers and vulnerabilities involving third-party vendors servicing telecommunications providers. FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel noted that the Task Force, which the Chief of the Enforcement Bureau will lead, will play a prominent role in the agency’s effort to modernize its data breach rules and new rules to crack down on SIM-swapping fraud.
Continue Reading FCC Initiatives on Data Privacy, Internet Network Security and Data Caps

Following up on its initial notice from last September, the Federal Communications Commission (the Commission) has released a draft Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to address unwanted text messages that “invade consumer privacy and are vehicles for consumer fraud and identity theft.” The Commission will consider adopting the proposed rules at

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has unanimously adopted a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to revise its requirements related to data breach reporting requirements applicable to telecommunications carriers and interconnected Voice over Internet Protocol providers. The proposal seeks to “strengthen the Commission’s rules for notifying customers and federal law enforcement of breaches of customer proprietary network information (CPNI).” CPNI is data on the subscribers’ telephone usage as originally defined in Section 222 of the Communications Act. The Commission’s aim is “to better align its rules with recent developments in federal and state data breach laws covering other sectors.”
Continue Reading Federal Communications Commission Proposes Revisions to Data Breach Rules 

In February of this year, Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel announced that she had submitted a proposal to her colleague Commissioners to regulate “ringless voicemails” to wireless phones under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”). She noted that “‘[r]ingless voicemail can be annoying, invasive, and can lead to fraud like other robocalls—so it

In October of 2021, then Acting Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel circulated a proposal among her Commissioner colleagues to address the problem of illegal robotexts invading consumer privacy. At the time, she noted that the FCC has seen “a rise in scammers trying to take advantage of our trust of text messages by sending bogus robotexts that try to trick consumers to share sensitive information or click on malicious links. It’s time we take steps to confront this latest wave of fraud and identify how mobile carriers can block these automated messages before they have the opportunity to cause any harm.” 
Continue Reading FCC Adopts Rulemaking Proposal to Protect Consumer Privacy From Invasion by Unwanted Text Messages

As previously reported, the Federal Communications Commission last month released responses from the 15 major wireless carriers concerning their data retention and privacy practices, particularly with respect to location information.

In doing so, the FCC Chairwoman announced that she had asked the agency’s “Enforcement Bureau to launch a new investigation into mobile carriers’ compliance with FCC rules that require carriers to fully disclose to customers how they are using and sharing geolocation data.”Continue Reading FCC Reportedly Issues Letters of Inquiry Seeking Further Information on Wireless Providers Data Privacy Practices

In recent years text messaging has emerged as one of the most used methods of communications among American consumers, and those entities who seek to reach out to contact them. According to the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Consumer Advisory Committee (CAC), in 2020, 2.2 trillion Short Message Service (SMS) and Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS) messages were exchanged in America alone. These figures do not include messages using applications such as WhatsApp and We Chat.

This dynamic growth has also raised concern about those who would use the technology to scam and trick consumers. Last October, then Acting FCC Chair Jessica Rosenworcel, out of a concern about such potential abuses, circulated to her fellow Commissioners “a proposed rulemaking that would require mobile wireless providers to block illegal text messaging, building on the agency’s ongoing work to stop illegal and unwanted robocalls”. That proposal remains pending at the FCC.Continue Reading FCC Consumer Advisory Committee Reports on State of Text Messaging and Makes Recommendations

Section 222 of the Communications Act and the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) implementing regulations impose on “every telecommunications carrier…a [general] duty to protect the confidentiality of proprietary information of, and relating to, other telecommunication carriers, equipment manufacturers, and customers.”

This duty includes customer proprietary network information “relating to the ‘quantity, technical configuration, type, destination, location,

The Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Enforcement Bureau (Bureau) has continued to flex its regulatory muscles when it comes to invasion of consumer privacy via illegal telemarketing calls. The Bureau has issued eight new cease and desist letters to voice service providers in connection apparent transmission of calls many of which included “prerecorded advertising messages marketing