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November 22, 2019

10/17/2019 1:15:00 PM
A ban on robocalls?
I'm sure most of us have had this happen:
Your cell phone rings and you instinctively check the screen for a number. There's an audible sigh of relief as you spot a local area code and prefix.
You hit the "accept" button, only to hear a recorded voice say, "Hello! Are you interested in a huge savings on a trip to Florida?"
I've had it happen. And usually the robocall message doesn't get past "Hello" before I hang up. It's annoying and frustrating. We can put a man on the moon, but we cannot seem to stop the robo callers.
However, there's apparently an anti-robo-caller effort afoot, at least in Minnesota.
I recently read an online report that Minnesota Rep. Zack Stephenson has authored a bill that would ban robocalls in the state. Before you let out a cheer and start your "happy dance," I should point out that nowhere in the story does it say the bill will eliminate robocalls.
And, let's not assume this bill will pass. After all, this is politics. Whether it is on the state or national level, gridlock seems to play a role in nearly every bill.
If approved, the bill would require telecom companies to offer free robocall blocking.
"The technology already exists to block these spoofed calls before they reach your phone," Stephenson told reporters. "We just have to make sure this technology is working to the benefit of every Minnesotan."
I've got a hunch the robocalls come from the same companies that used to bug us over the dinner hour back in the days of land lines. Now, they trick us with something called "spoofing," sometimes even borrowing the phone numbers of people we know.
Again, I don't think it's a perfect solution. I'm sure there will be pushback from telephone companies and I know nothing can happen until the session starts in February, but at least there is some hope. It's a start.

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