The FCC Cracks Down on Those F*$%#! Robocallers

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Here is today’s installment of “Government Bureaucrats Working To Make Your Life Better.” Seriously. Behold the latest rule from the FCC:

After receiving thousands of complaints from consumers, the Federal Communications Commission clamped down Wednesday on unwanted robo-calling by approving sweeping changes to its telemarketing rules for wireline and mobile phones.

….Under the new FCC rules, telemarketers are required to obtain written consent, which can be in the form of an online approval, before placing autodialed or prerecorded calls to a consumer. Telemarketers also must provide an automated opt-out mechanism during each robo-call so that consumers can immediately tell the telemarketer to stop calling.

The FCC also eliminated the “established business relationship” exception, which had allowed robo-calls to be placed to the land-line home phones of consumers with “prior or existing” associations with companies represented by telemarketers.

I’m especially thrilled about the last bit. If my dentist (or whoever) wants to call to tell me something genuine (don’t forget your checkup tomorrow!), that’s fine. But if they just want to harass me endlessly with robocalls to sell me more stuff (we’re having a sale on tooth whitening!) then forget it. That’s an ordinary commercial telemarketing call and I want it stopped regardless of whether I happen to have set foot in their establishment before.

I have my doubts about how many robocallers actually care about the FCC’s rules, but I’m sure at least some of them do, and thus my life will be made ever so slightly better. So hooray for the FCC. These are your bureaucrats watching out for you.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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