Life is about to get more difficult for foreign telemarketers
that flaunt domestic Do Not Call rules, as twelve global regulators
have joined forces to create an international enforcement
On October 28, 2011 the CRTC announced the creation
of an International Do Not Call Network to
facilitate international cooperation on telemarketing enforcement
and hopefully reduce the amount of unauthorized telemarketing calls
Canadians receive from abroad.
The CRTC and the Australian Communications and Media Authority
will be the inaugural co-chairs of the new network, which held its
first meeting recently in Paris. Other members include Do Not Call
regulators from France, Hong Kong, Ireland, Israel, Korea, Mexico,
New Zealand, Spain, United Kingdom and United States.
The purpose of the Network will be to facilitate cooperation
between the different national agencies charged with policing
telemarketing in order to improve cross-border enforcement of
telemarketing laws, as well as to work to harmonize telemarketing
policies between countries. Konrad von Finckenstein, Q.C., Chairman
of the CRTC, explained that the Network is necessary in order to
stop foreign telemarketers who violate Canada's Unsolicited Telecommunication
For many years, regulators around the globe have been grappling
with the increasing problem of telemarketing calls being made into
their home country from a foreign source. In many cases, it is
likely that unscrupulous telemarketers set their operations up in
this way precisely because cross-border enforcement has been so
difficult. Although domestic regulators may issue fines or remedial
orders against foreign-based telemarketers, they lack the legal
authority and means to enforce these orders outside their
The announcement of the new enforcement network comes in the
wake of the CRTC's recent novel agreement with twoMexican
telemarketing companies who had been targeting
Canadians with telemarketing messages that violated the CRTC's
Rules, a case that demonstrates the Commission's determination
to enforce its telemarketing rules against foreign parties, as well
as its commitment to working with foreign enforcement agencies to
combat unauthorized telemarketing. The CRTC's most recent
announcement underscores this approach, and shows a global trend
towards streamlining and enforcing telemarketing policy.
While the CRTC oversees the Do Not Call regime, as well as
regulating the time and manner in which telemarketing calls
– including fax and "robocalls" – are
permitted to be made, the deceptive and fraudulent content of
telemarketing messages are governed not only by the fraud
provisions of the Criminal Code, but
are also subject to investigation and enforcement by the Competition Bureau
pursuant to the Deceptive Telemarketing Practices sections of the
Competition Act. In
line with the trend toward cross-border enforcement, the
Competition Bureau is also a member of a global enforcement
network, the International Consumer Protection and
Enforcement Network, and cooperates with its
international counterparts in the investigation and enforcement of
telemarketing scams, including a recent case where it laid charges against a
Montréal-based telemarketing ring.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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