The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has proposed a $13 million fine for a man. The commission said the man was involved in a series of racist and anti-Semitic bots, including more than 6,000 automated nuisance calls in six states. The man is accused of using anti-Semitic and racist tactics to attack political candidates, threaten a newspaper and incite racial hatred after an undocumented immigrant killed a college student.
The FCC said its automated nuisance phone attacks included attacks on political candidates in California, Florida and Georgia (1496, 766 and 583 calls, respectively), threats against an Idaho newspaper (750 calls) and the spread of conspiracy theories about a trial in Virginia (2,023 calls in total). In the latter case, the FCC said, the calls appeared to be influencing the jury’s verdict.
In Iowa, the man made 827 phone calls, including one in which a woman mimicked the voice of a murdered student and encouraged callers to kill everyone. According to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, this is an undocumented immigrant affair. Last month, an undocumented immigrant was charged with the student’s murder. The victim’s father also received such a call.
According to the New York Times, the activities were allegedly made by Scott S. D. Rhodes’s work. Scott D. D. Rhodes was charged with deceptive caller ID with intent to cause harm. He is accused of breaching the Caller ID Act by manipulating the phone ID information to make it appear as if the phone came from a nearby local phone number. Rhodes will have 30 days to respond to the findings, after which the FEDERAL Communications Commission (FCC) will vote on whether to impose a $12.91 million fine
This case shows that automated phone calls not only annoy regular phone users, but can also be actively used for mass harassment, threats and hate dissemination, and that they cannot be eliminated any time soon.