James B. Rule Center for the Study of Law and Society University of California, Berkeley, School of Law

Proposed here is a solution to the robocall problem requiring only modest alteration of existing technology.    Instead, it envisages a change in the type of phone service available to private individuals to include a modified form of the pay-per-call 900 system long used by businesses.    Equally essential elements of the solution include (1) mechanisms to permit call recipients easily to waive charges, when they ultimately determine incoming calls to be legitimate; and (2) measures to bypass the billing filter for emergency callers and those the recipient designates as trusted callers.    The result would be a new balance of power and prerogatives between callers and call recipients, increasing the quality of telephone appeals and decreasing their sheer quantity.
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