WASHINGTON, D.C., October 3, 2012 — My name is Andrea Rosen and I am the Chief Compliance and Enforcement Officer at the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, or the CRTC for short.
We are the Canadian agency responsible for establishing and enforcing the unsolicited telemarketing rules, including our National Do Not Call List, which help Canadians maintain their privacy. The National DNCL is very similar to the registry that was created and is managed by the FTC. In this respect, we are the counterpart agency to the FTC in Canada.
Today, I’m pleased to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the FTC as we announce this round of results of our coordinated enforcement efforts. The CRTC, the FTC and the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) worked in close collaboration over the course of our respective investigations. Earlier this year, two representatives of the CRTC were deployed to Washington, as part of the FTC’s International Fellows Program. During the fellowship, they worked with the FTC’s investigators.
As a result of this partnership, the CRTC has taken its own enforcement actions against two companies located in India: Pecon Software Limited and Avaneesh Software Private Limited. In the course of these ongoing investigations, inspections are being conducted in Canada.
To date, our investigations have found that Pecon Software and Avaneesh Software were making unsolicited telemarketing calls to Canadians who were registered on the National DNCL.
Today, we are announcing that we have served these companies with notices of violation requiring them to comply with our rules when calling Canadians. We have also imposed monetary penalties in the amount of $495,000 to Pecon Software and of $12,000 to Avaneesh Software, for a total of $507,000.
While this is a step in the right direction, it is not a panacea. It is easy for telemarketers to set up shop in one country and target consumers in another. All enforcement agencies face this challenge of trans-border enforcement.
The actions taken today by the FTC and the CRTC put offshore telemarketers on notice that multiple agencies are actively monitoring their activities.
We can make a difference by working together. With the help of the members of the International Do Not Call Network—which Canada co-chairs along with ACMA and for which the FTC hosts the secretariat—we are doing everything we can with the tools at our disposal. We are covering the waterfront and, where appropriate, making borders disappear so that perpetrators cannot hide from authorities in any country.
In closing, let me reiterate that we applaud the FTC’s efforts to rein in unsolicited telemarketing calls from offshore telemarketers, and we are pleased that this partnership has enabled fruitful investigations. Most importantly, we are committed to working together in the future to combat this global problem.
The CRTC is an independent public authority that regulates and supervises broadcasting and telecommunications in Canada.
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