The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) today ordered voice service providers to block the global gateway provider One Eye. The FCC says the company, which serves as an “on-ramp” to US phone networks from outside the country, enabled robocall scams like impersonating a major financial institution and calls about bogus “preauthorized orders” placed in consumers’ names. The Biden administration’s FCC has focused on increasing its ability to enforce robocalls. “This company — what’s left of it — will now have a place in robocall history,” said FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel. “We can and will continue to shut off providers that help scammers.”
Today’s order is the culmination of an escalating series of actions by the FCC to stop One Eye from facilitating shady robocall campaigns. First, the agency cited the company’s predecessor, PZ/Illum Telecommunication, for transmitting illegal robocalls. Then, in a cease-and-desist letter sent in February, the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau warned the newly minted One Eye that its rebranding wouldn’t help it avoid consequences while alerting it that a failure to comply would lead to a permanent block. (On the same day, it cautioned US voice providers about One Eye’s activity.) Finally, it sent an “initial determination order” in April, another step toward the block it ultimately issued today.
The FCC’s statement doesn’t specify where One Eye’s headquarters are. The February cease-and-desist letter was addressed to a registered LLC in Delaware, but that could merely be a US branch of a global operation based elsewhere.
The block has teeth thanks to the FCC’s Gateway Provider Order issued in May 2022. It laid out a new list of requirements for companies routing foreign calls to the US, including (among others) caller ID authentication using the STIR / SHAKEN framework, submitting certification plans, responding to traceback requests within 24 hours and blocking illegal traffic when notified by the FCC.
“The Enforcement Bureau team has built a fair, transparent, but tough process by which we can essentially shut down access to U.S. communications networks by companies such as One Eye that are targeting consumers with illegal robocalls,” said Enforcement Bureau Chief Loyaan Egal. “Today’s action demonstrates another cutting-edge tool in our robocall enforcement options and represents a landmark date in our efforts to protect consumers from scam calls.”
This story originally appeared on Engadget