John Oliver explains why you’ve been getting more robocalls lately

John Oliver Hatches A Genius Plot To Ban Robocalls By Robocalling The FCC

John Oliver Hatches A Genius Plot To Ban Robocalls By Robocalling The FCC

Oliver then unveiled the "Last Week Tonight" plan to pressure the FCC into action-its own robocall drive.

John Oliver took on the growing plague of annoying robocalls, which he notes increased by 57 percent in 2018 to almost 50 billion calls, and launched a revenge-based solution involving bagpipes. The FCC website promptly crashed, but the FCC claimed the crash was the result of "multiple distributed denial-of-service attacks" and not because of Oliver's viewers.

In his latest signature rant, John Oliver takes on a truly universal villain: robocalls. (Laughs) Sorry but I am a live person! In 2017, the HBO host set up a website, GoFCCYourself.com, that automatically directed users to an FCC comments page, where they could share their frustrations over the commission's net neutrality rules. "Congratulations! You've just won a chance to lower robocalls in America today", it said. While some robocalls are actually helpful-calls about school closings or prescription refills, for example-most are either annoying or illegal. "Everybody is annoyed by robocalls".

There are still things the FCC could do, but "unfortunately, their current chair is this guy, Ajit Pai", who "opposed those rules that we mentioned earlier and was extremely happy when they were overturned", Oliver said. And he runs down some of the reasons why robocalls are exploding-including the uselessness of the National Do Not Call Registry (it only applies to sales calls, and scammers use spoofing technology to disguise their numbers and escape detection), and especially the FCC's toothless approach to "urging" telecom companies to address the crisis.

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"Experts advise you not to engage with robocalls at all - don't pick up, and don't talk if you do answer", Oliver said.

"I am calling on those falling behind to catch up", he said in a statement. In January, T-Mobile became the first in the industry to launch a caller-verification feature based on that standard. He threatened to "consider regulatory intervention", but did not elaborate.

Oliver's team did just that, taking just 15 minutes to set up the automated calls.

AT&T has offered a similar service called Call Protect to customers for free since the end of 2016, as has Sprint.

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