The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) today ordered voice service providers to block global gateway provider One Eye. The FCC said the company, which serves as an “on-ramp” to US telephone networks from abroad, enabled robocall scams such as impersonating a major financial institution and calling about fake “preauthorized orders” placed in the names of consumers. The Biden administration’s FCC is focused on increasing its ability to enforce robocalls. “This company — what’s left of it — has a place in robocall history,” FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel said. “We can and will continue to shut down providers who help scammers.”
Today’s order is the culmination of a growing series of actions by the FCC to stop One Eye from facilitating shady robocall campaigns. First, the agency cited the company’s predecessor, PZ/Illum Telecommunication, for sending illegal robocalls. Then, in a cease-and-desist letter sent in February, the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau warned the newly created One Eye that its rebranding would not help avoid the consequences while announcing that failure to comply will result in a permanent block. (The same day, it warned U.S. voice providers about the One Eye activity.) Finally, it sent an “initial determination order” in April, another step toward the block finally released today.
The FCC statement did not specify where One Eye is headed. The February cease-and-desist letter was addressed to a registered LLC in Delaware, but that could only be a US branch of a global operation based elsewhere.
The block has teeth thanks to the FCC’s Gateway Provider Order issued in May 2022. It sets a new list of requirements for companies that route foreign calls to the US, including (in etc.) identifying caller ID using the STIR / SHAKEN framework, submitting certification plans, responding to tracking requests within 24 hours and blocking illegal traffic when notified by the FCC.
“The Enforcement Bureau team has established a fair, transparent, but tough process through which we can shut down access to US communications networks by companies like One Eye that target consumers with illegal robocall,” said Enforcement Bureau Chief Loyaan Egal. “Today’s action represents another tool to reduce our robocall enforcement options and represents a landmark date in our efforts to protect consumers from scam calls.”