47 U.S. Code § 227 - Restrictions on use of telephone equipment
Not later than 9 months after December 20, 1991, the Commission shall conclude the rulemaking proceeding initiated under paragraph (1) and shall prescribe regulations to implement methods and procedures for protecting the privacy rights described in such paragraph in an efficient, effective, and economic manner and without the imposition of any additional charge to telephone subscribers.
The Commission shall revise the regulations setting technical and procedural standards for telephone facsimile machines to require that any such machine which is manufactured after one year after December 20, 1991, clearly marks, in a margin at the top or bottom of each transmitted page or on the first page of each transmission, the date and time sent, an identification of the business, other entity, or individual sending the message, and the telephone number of the sending machine or of such business, other entity, or individual.
It shall be unlawful for any person within the United States, in connection with any telecommunications service or IP-enabled voice service, to cause any caller identification service to knowingly transmit misleading or inaccurate caller identification information with the intent to defraud, cause harm, or wrongfully obtain anything of value, unless such transmission is exempted pursuant to paragraph (3)(B).
Nothing in this subsection may be construed to prevent or restrict any person from blocking the capability of any caller identification service to transmit caller identification information.
Not later than 6 months after December 22, 2010, the Commission shall prescribe regulations to implement this subsection.
The regulations required under subparagraph (A) shall include such exemptions from the prohibition under paragraph (1) as the Commission determines is appropriate.
Not later than 6 months after December 22, 2010, the Commission shall report to Congress whether additional legislation is necessary to prohibit the provision of inaccurate caller identification information in technologies that are successor or replacement technologies to telecommunications service or IP-enabled voice service.
Any person that is determined by the Commission, in accordance with paragraphs (3) and (4) of section 503(b) of this title, to have violated this subsection shall be liable to the United States for a forfeiture penalty. A forfeiture penalty under this paragraph shall be in addition to any other penalty provided for by this chapter. The amount of the forfeiture penalty determined under this paragraph shall not exceed $10,000 for each violation, or 3 times that amount for each day of a continuing violation, except that the amount assessed for any continuing violation shall not exceed a total of $1,000,000 for any single act or failure to act.
Any forfeiture penalty determined under clause (i) shall be recoverable pursuant to section 504(a) of this title.
Any person who willfully and knowingly violates this subsection shall upon conviction thereof be fined not more than $10,000 for each violation, or 3 times that amount for each day of a continuing violation, in lieu of the fine provided by section 501 of this title for such a violation. This subparagraph does not supersede the provisions of section 501 of this title relating to imprisonment or the imposition of a penalty of both fine and imprisonment.
The chief legal officer of a State, or any other State officer authorized by law to bring actions on behalf of the residents of a State, may bring a civil action, as parens patriae, on behalf of the residents of that State in an appropriate district court of the United States to enforce this subsection or to impose the civil penalties for violation of this subsection, whenever the chief legal officer or other State officer has reason to believe that the interests of the residents of the State have been or are being threatened or adversely affected by a violation of this subsection or a regulation under this subsection.
The chief legal officer or other State officer shall serve written notice on the Commission of any civil action under subparagraph (A) prior to initiating such civil action. The notice shall include a copy of the complaint to be filed to initiate such civil action, except that if it is not feasible for the State to provide such prior notice, the State shall provide such notice immediately upon instituting such civil action.
For purposes of bringing any civil action under subparagraph (A), nothing in this paragraph shall prevent the chief legal officer or other State officer from exercising the powers conferred on that officer by the laws of such State to conduct investigations or to administer oaths or affirmations or to compel the attendance of witnesses or the production of documentary and other evidence.
An action brought under subparagraph (A) shall be brought in a district court of the United States that meets applicable requirements relating to venue under section 1391 of title 28.
This subsection does not prohibit any lawfully authorized investigative, protective, or intelligence activity of a law enforcement agency of the United States, a State, or a political subdivision of a State, or of an intelligence agency of the United States.
The term “caller identification information” means information provided by a caller identification service regarding the telephone number of, or other information regarding the origination of, a call made using a telecommunications service or IP-enabled voice service.
The term “caller identification service” means any service or device designed to provide the user of the service or device with the telephone number of, or other information regarding the origination of, a call made using a telecommunications service or IP-enabled voice service. Such term includes automatic number identification services.
The term “IP-enabled voice service” has the meaning given that term by section 9.3 of the Commission’s regulations (47 C.F.R. 9.3), as those regulations may be amended by the Commission from time to time.
If, pursuant to subsection (c)(3) of this section, the Commission requires the establishment of a single national database of telephone numbers of subscribers who object to receiving telephone solicitations, a State or local authority may not, in its regulation of telephone solicitations, require the use of any database, list, or listing system that does not include the part of such single national database that relates to such State.
Whenever the attorney general of a State, or an official or agency designated by a State, has reason to believe that any person has engaged or is engaging in a pattern or practice of telephone calls or other transmissions to residents of that State in violation of this section or the regulations prescribed under this section, the State may bring a civil action on behalf of its residents to enjoin such calls, an action to recover for actual monetary loss or receive $500 in damages for each violation, or both such actions. If the court finds the defendant willfully or knowingly violated such regulations, the court may, in its discretion, increase the amount of the award to an amount equal to not more than 3 times the amount available under the preceding sentence.
The district courts of the United States, the United States courts of any territory, and the District Court of the United States for the District of Columbia shall have exclusive jurisdiction over all civil actions brought under this subsection. Upon proper application, such courts shall also have jurisdiction to issue writs of mandamus, or orders affording like relief, commanding the defendant to comply with the provisions of this section or regulations prescribed under this section, including the requirement that the defendant take such action as is necessary to remove the danger of such violation. Upon a proper showing, a permanent or temporary injunction or restraining order shall be granted without bond.
The State shall serve prior written notice of any such civil action upon the Commission and provide the Commission with a copy of its complaint, except in any case where such prior notice is not feasible, in which case the State shall serve such notice immediately upon instituting such action. The Commission shall have the right (A) to intervene in the action, (B) upon so intervening, to be heard on all matters arising therein, and (C) to file petitions for appeal.
Any civil action brought under this subsection in a district court of the United States may be brought in the district wherein the defendant is found or is an inhabitant or transacts business or wherein the violation occurred or is occurring, and process in such cases may be served in any district in which the defendant is an inhabitant or where the defendant may be found.
For purposes of bringing any civil action under this subsection, nothing in this section shall prevent the attorney general of a State, or an official or agency designated by a State, from exercising the powers conferred on the attorney general or such official by the laws of such State to conduct investigations or to administer oaths or affirmations or to compel the attendance of witnesses or the production of documentary and other evidence.
Nothing contained in this subsection shall be construed to prohibit an authorized State official from proceeding in State court on the basis of an alleged violation of any general civil or criminal statute of such State.
Whenever the Commission has instituted a civil action for violation of regulations prescribed under this section, no State may, during the pendency of such action instituted by the Commission, subsequently institute a civil action against any defendant named in the Commission’s complaint for any violation as alleged in the Commission’s complaint.
 So in original. Second closing parenthesis probably should not appear.
This chapter, referred to in subsec. (e)(5)(A)(i), was in the original “this Act”, meaning act June 19, 1934, ch. 652, 48 Stat. 1064, known as the Communications Act of 1934, which is classified principally to this chapter. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see section 609 of this title and Tables.
2015—Subsec. (b)(1)(A)(iii). Pub. L. 114–74, § 301(a)(1)(A), inserted “, unless such call is made solely to collect a debt owed to or guaranteed by the United States” after “charged for the call”.
Subsec. (b)(1)(B). Pub. L. 114–74, § 301(a)(1)(B), inserted “, is made solely pursuant to the collection of a debt owed to or guaranteed by the United States,” after “emergency purposes”.
Subsec. (b)(2)(H). Pub. L. 114–74, § 301(a)(2), added subpar. (H).
2010—Subsecs. (e) to (h). Pub. L. 111–331 added subsec. (e) and redesignated former subsecs. (e) to (g) as (f) to (h), respectively.
2005—Subsec. (a)(2) to (4). Pub. L. 109–21, § 2(b), added par. (2) and redesignated former pars. (2) and (3) as (3) and (4), respectively. Former par. (4) redesignated (5).
Subsec. (a)(5). Pub. L. 109–21, § 2(b)(1), (g), redesignated par. (4) as (5) and inserted “, in writing or otherwise” before period at end.
Subsec. (b)(1)(C). Pub. L. 109–21, § 2(a), amended subpar. (C) generally. Prior to amendment, subpar. (C) read as follows: “to use any telephone facsimile machine, computer, or other device to send an unsolicited advertisement to a telephone facsimile machine; or”.
Subsec. (b)(2)(D) to (G). Pub. L. 109–21, § 2(c)–(f), added subpars. (D) to (G).
Subsec. (g). Pub. L. 109–21, § 3, added subsec. (g).
2003—Subsec. (b)(1). Pub. L. 108–187 inserted “, or any person outside the United States if the recipient is within the United States” after “United States” in introductory provisions.
1994—Subsec. (b)(2)(C). Pub. L. 103–414, § 303(a)(11), substituted “paragraph” for “paragraphs”.
Subsec. (e)(2). Pub. L. 103–414, § 303(a)(12), substituted “national database” for “national datebase” after “such single”.
1992—Subsec. (b)(2)(C). Pub. L. 102–556 added subpar. (C).
LII has no control over and does not endorse any external Internet site that contains links to or references LII.