New Rules Approved By FCC Make Tracking Threatening Phone Calls Easier

The new rules will give law enforcement personnel limited access to blocked caller ID information

New Rules Approved By FCC Make Tracking Threatening Phone Calls Easier
Image: NCCC
October 24, 2017

In response to concerns about threatening phone calls targeting schools, religious centers, and other organizations, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has voted to allow law enforcement authorities—under specific circumstances—to access blocked caller ID information when needed to identify and thwart threatening callers.

Quicker investigation of threatening calls

The Commission's action creates an exemption to a rule prohibiting carriers from disclosing blocked caller ID information. Threatened organizations will no longer need to get a waiver from the rule on a case-by-case basis, enabling quicker investigation of threatening calls.

"The FCC continues to take seriously the privacy of law-abiding consumers," the agency said in a media release.

The new rules approved by the Commission will give law enforcement personnel and others responsible for the safety and security of the threatened party limited access to blocked caller ID information. An exemption will also be provided for non-public emergency services, such as private ambulance services, to obtain blocked Caller ID information of callers requesting their assistance.

A similar exemption already existed for public emergency services.

Previous waiver requirements

Previously, when a school, religious institution, or other organization received threatening calls, they had to request a specific waiver from the FCC to obtain the caller ID information blocked by the harassing caller.

The new rules will allow law enforcement and specified security personnel to quickly access this information, empowering them to more effectively combat threatening calls.

Find out more about the rule changes at FCC.gov.