On February 6, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) announced that it had sent a letter to Lingo Telecom, LLC (“Lingo”) to demand that Lingo “immediately stop supporting unlawful robocall traffic on its networks.”  As background, Lingo is a Texas-based telecommunications provider that, according to the FCC’s letter, was the originating provider for “deepfake” calls made by Life Corp. to New Hampshire voters on January 21, 2024.  The calls, which imitated President Biden’s voice and falsified caller ID information, took place two days before the New Hampshire presidential primary and reportedly advised Democratic voters to refrain from voting in the primary.  

While the cease-and-desist letter focuses on Lingo, the FCC’s press release states that the New Hampshire State Attorney General’s office issued a cease-and-desist letter to Life Corp. and that the “Anti-Robocall Multistate Litigation Task Force is also expected to issue a similar letter to Life [Corp.].”   

The FCC’s letter to Lingo alleges that the calls “intended to confuse the recipient[s] . . . [and] create the false impression that the deepfake voice recording was from President Biden, which could wrongly give a prospective voter the impression that the president of the United States was telling them not to vote in the upcoming New Hampshire primary election.”  It also stated that originating providers must “[t]ake affirmative, effective measures to prevent new and renewing customers from using its network to originate illegal calls.”

Relatedly, the FCC also issued a “K4 Order” on the same day to notify all U.S.-based voice service providers that if Lingo fails to effectively mitigate illegal robocall traffic, including the use of deepfakes, within 48 hours of the notice, U.S.-based voice service providers may block voice calls or cease to accept traffic from Lingo  without liability under the Communications Act of 1934 or the FCC’s rules. 

The FCC’s cease-and-desist letter and accompanying K4 Order highlight the FCC’s recent focus on mitigating the use of artificial intelligence technologies for spam, junk, or other illegal calls.  The letter comes just a few weeks after 26 state attorneys general asked the FCC to take the position that any type of artificial intelligence technology “that generates a human voice should be considered an ‘artificial voice’ for purposes of the TCPA.”  FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel recently announced a proposal to “recognize calls made with AI-generated voices [as] ‘artificial’ voices under the [TCPA].”  You can read more about the state attorneys general letter and Chairwoman Rosenworcel’s statement here.

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Photo of Yaron Dori Yaron Dori

Yaron Dori has over 25 years of experience advising technology, telecommunications, media, life sciences, and other types of companies on their most pressing business challenges. He is a former chair of the firm’s technology, communications and media practices and currently serves on the…

Yaron Dori has over 25 years of experience advising technology, telecommunications, media, life sciences, and other types of companies on their most pressing business challenges. He is a former chair of the firm’s technology, communications and media practices and currently serves on the firm’s eight-person Management Committee.

Yaron’s practice advises clients on strategic planning, policy development, transactions, investigations and enforcement, and regulatory compliance.

Early in his career, Yaron advised telecommunications companies and investors on regulatory policy and frameworks that led to the development of broadband networks. When those networks became bidirectional and enabled companies to collect consumer data, he advised those companies on their data privacy and consumer protection obligations. Today, as new technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) are being used to enhance the applications and services offered by such companies, he advises them on associated legal and regulatory obligations and risks. It is this varied background – which tracks the evolution of the technology industry – that enables Yaron to provide clients with a holistic, 360-degree view of technology policy, regulation, compliance, and enforcement.

Yaron represents clients before federal regulatory agencies—including the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), and the Department of Commerce (DOC)—and the U.S. Congress in connection with a range of issues under the Communications Act, the Federal Trade Commission Act, and similar statutes. He also represents clients on state regulatory and enforcement matters, including those that pertain to telecommunications, data privacy, and consumer protection regulation. His deep experience in each of these areas enables him to advise clients on a wide range of technology regulations and key business issues in which these areas intersect.

With respect to technology and telecommunications matters, Yaron advises clients on a broad range of business, policy and consumer-facing issues, including:

  • Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of Things;
  • Broadband deployment and regulation;
  • IP-enabled applications, services and content;
  • Section 230 and digital safety considerations;
  • Equipment and device authorization procedures;
  • The Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA);
  • Customer Proprietary Network Information (CPNI) requirements;
  • The Cable Privacy Act
  • Net Neutrality; and
  • Local competition, universal service, and intercarrier compensation.

Yaron also has extensive experience in structuring transactions and securing regulatory approvals at both the federal and state levels for mergers, asset acquisitions and similar transactions involving large and small FCC and state communication licensees.

With respect to privacy and consumer protection matters, Yaron advises clients on a range of business, strategic, policy and compliance issues, including those that pertain to:

  • The FTC Act and related agency guidance and regulations;
  • State privacy laws, such as the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and California Privacy Rights Act, the Colorado Privacy Act, the Connecticut Data Privacy Act, the Virginia Consumer Data Protection Act, and the Utah Consumer Privacy Act;
  • The Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA);
  • Location-based services that use WiFi, beacons or similar technologies;
  • Digital advertising practices, including native advertising and endorsements and testimonials; and
  • The application of federal and state telemarketing, commercial fax, and other consumer protection laws, such as the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), to voice, text, and video transmissions.

Yaron also has experience advising companies on congressional, FCC, FTC and state attorney general investigations into various consumer protection and communications matters, including those pertaining to social media influencers, digital disclosures, product discontinuance, and advertising claims.

Photo of Andrew Longhi Andrew Longhi

Andrew Longhi is an associate in the firm’s Washington, DC office and a member of the Data Privacy and Cybersecurity and Technology and Communications Regulation Practice Groups.

Andrew advises clients on a broad range of privacy and cybersecurity issues, including compliance obligations, commercial…

Andrew Longhi is an associate in the firm’s Washington, DC office and a member of the Data Privacy and Cybersecurity and Technology and Communications Regulation Practice Groups.

Andrew advises clients on a broad range of privacy and cybersecurity issues, including compliance obligations, commercial transactions involving personal information and cybersecurity risk, and responses to regulatory inquiries.

Andrew is Admitted to the Bar under DC App. R. 46-A (Emergency Examination Waiver); Practice Supervised by DC Bar members.

Photo of Jorge Ortiz Jorge Ortiz

Jorge Ortiz is an associate in the firm’s Washington, DC office and a member of the Data Privacy and Cybersecurity and the Technology and Communications Regulation Practice Groups.

Jorge advises clients on a broad range of privacy and cybersecurity issues, including topics related…

Jorge Ortiz is an associate in the firm’s Washington, DC office and a member of the Data Privacy and Cybersecurity and the Technology and Communications Regulation Practice Groups.

Jorge advises clients on a broad range of privacy and cybersecurity issues, including topics related to privacy policies and compliance obligations under U.S. state privacy regulations like the California Consumer Privacy Act.