Editor's note: Guest editorials do not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Register.

There is some good news to report for anyone who owns a cellphone and landline telephone system.

President Donald Trump has signed into law a new anti-robocall measure that should help in reducing the number of nuisance calls we all receive on a daily basis.

The federal law won't completely eliminate the deluge of unwanted calls, but it should reduce the volume of robocalls received. The federal measure gives authorities more enforcement powers and could speed up efforts the cellphone industry is already taking to identify robocalls, the Associated Press reported. And when phone companies block robocalls, they must do so without charging consumers.

"American families deserve control over their communications, and this legislation will update our laws and regulations to stiffen penalties, increase transparency, and enhance government collaboration to stop unwanted solicitation," White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham said last week.

The new law builds on steps already taken by the Federal Communications Commission, as well as state attorneys general and industry groups. For example, West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey joined a coalition of 51 attorneys general and 12 phone companies last year in reaching a related agreement that resulted in phone companies adopting eight principles to fight illegal robocalls. That 51 state bipartisan, public-private agreement was designed to help protect consumers from illegal robocalls and make it easier for attorneys general to investigate and prosecute those individuals behind the illegal schemes.

The new federal law also requires phone companies to implement a system that is designed to get rid of "spoofed" numbers. Spoofing is a tactic used by scammers to mask the phone number they are calling from and make it appear to be from another source. The law requires all phone companies to put this system in place, the AP report said.

We are glad to see that this all-important federal measure is now law. This is a huge step in eliminating robocalls, an annoyance that we've all been dealing with for far too long. Perhaps one day in the not too distant future, we will be able to answer our phones without worrying about robocalls.

-- Bluefield (W.Va.) Daily Telegraph

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