Although you’ve probably never heard of him, he’s the head of one of the most effective anti-robocall task forces in the nation: the Industry Traceback Group–an outfit designed to get to the root of scam robocalls and shut them down at the source.

Patrick Halley is our guest on Unprecedented this week and he is the Sr. Vice-President of US Telecom–one of the most powerful trade organizations on the planet– that represents dozens of telecom players in the United States. US Telecom, in turn, created and runs the Industry Traceback Group–using tips from companies like YouMail and Nomorobo to identify scam calls and then implement traceback efforts to identify the point of entry for those calls into the US carrier networks. Its a tremendous program that has shown incredible success at getting to the real root of the robocall problem–the overseas call centers running the terrible scam calls we all detest.


Patrick Halley

In the incredible VIDEO interview–which will be available here next week– Patrick walks us through how the traceback effort works and the brick-by-brick steps necessary to identify the source of scam calls. He also discusses the huge pressure on carriers to BLOCK calls–including potentially legal calls–and the steps legitimate callers can take to make sure their traffic is not improperly blocked or labeled as a scam.

We also discuss the murky limits of regulation impacting carriers and the strange and sudden shift in expectations that has some carriers feeling like they have been unfairly tasked with policing traffic on their network at their own peril. Historically carriers were never deemed to be responsible for illegal phone calls passing over their lines, but these days there is increasing governmental pressure on carriers to shut down illegal calls–even though no law or regulation appears to require carriers to act. Nonetheless, the DOJ and state AGs are now increasingly pursuing cases against carriers as “participants” in wire fraud rings for knowingly connecting fraudulent traffic–and using the work of the Industry Traceback Group to make their case.

But no interview with Patrick would be complete without a discussion of carrier call blocking efforts and what callers can do TODAY to increase their chances of having their traffic get through. To be sure Patrick and I discuss redress mechanisms to allow callers to have their concerns over blocked calls heard by the carriers short of litigation–we shouldn’t have to file a lawsuit to get calls connected–and the protections the carriers are seeking for improperly blocked calls.

It all makes for a fascinating overview of the regulatory state of the telecom industry that you simply can’t get anywhere else. and Squire Patton Boggs are pleased and proud to provide this important and informative content that will be available here in just a few days. Stay tuned.


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