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Sidney , Montana
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December 21, 2011     Sidney Herald
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December 21, 2011
 

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SIDNEY HERALD Montana WEDNESDAY, DEC. 21, 2011 7A Bullock opposes federal bill to allow Robo-calls to cell phones Montana Attorney Gener- al Steve Bullock joined 53 other attorneys general in asking Congress to oppose legislation targeting con- sumers' telephone privacy. The "Mobile Informational Call Act of 2011" [H.R. 3035] would amend the Communi- cations Act of 1934 and allow for robo-cailing to all cell phones, leaving consumers to foot thebill, Bullock said. This week, the bill was pulled by the sponsoring senator. For example, debt collec- tors and other businesses could place automated "in- formational" calls to cell phones, costing those who pay by the minute or have a limited number of minutes available. In addition, since busi- nesses frequently have the wrong contact information, consumers could be getting and paying for repeated robo-calls on their cell phones to accounts that are not their own. "I've yet to talk to a Mon- tanan who wants more ma- chine-generated, anony- mous phone calls interrupt- ing their lives and costing them money." Bullock said. "This federal measure at- tacks telephone privacy and makes it harder for my office to protect consumers." Bullock joined the attor- neys general from 47 other states, the District of Colum- bia and several American territories in opposing the bill. AARP Montana also op- poses the federal measure and applauded Bullock's stance against the bill. "We are concerned about 'Montanans shouldn't open themselves up to unwanted, robo-calls and texts every time they share their contact information with a business.' Steve Bullock M0nlana Attorney General the number of unwanted calls people are going to get," said Joy Brock, state president of AARP Mon- tana. "Unwanted, automated phone calls at the con- sumer's expense is not what people bargain for when they give their cell phone number to a business." The attorneys general asked members of Congress to reject U.S. House Resolu- tion 3035. As chief protec- tors of consumer rights, many state attorneys gener- al would not be able to en- force their more strict state laws against junk faxes, pre- recorded calls or text mes- sages. This legislation would also narrow the definition of what constitutes an illegal "automatic telephone dial- ing system." If passed, the new definition would only prohibit "random or sequen- tial number generators" which means "targeted" calls would be permitted, Bullock said. Currently, federal law al- Customers Friday until Christmas lows robo-calls to be placed to people who have given their explicit consent to re- ceive them or in case of an emergency. "Montanans shouldn't open themselves up to un- wanted, robo-calls and texts every time they share their contact information with a business," Bullock said. "This is just a bad idea." Those that signed the let- ter are from: Alabama, Alas- ka, American Samoa, Ari- zona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Colum- bia, Florida, Georgia, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indi- ana, Iowa, Kansas, Ken- tucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mis- sissippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Northern Mariana Islands, Ohio, Okla- homa, Oregon, Pennsylva- nia, Puerto Rico, Rhode Is- land, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virgin Is- lands, Washington, West Vir- ginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming. We invite you to receive The Gift of Christmas.... .... Is Coming Christmas Eve Service 5 p.m. .... Is Yours Christmas Day Service 11 a.m. UBBY BERNDI l SIDNEY HERALD Turkey bowling Sidney High School student Tanner Roth tries turkey bowling at the school Monday. The event by the Leo Club collects canned goods for the food bank. As we welcome the holiday and all that it represents, we're reminded of the many people who have pulled for us this year, and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts. With warm wishes for a wonderful Christmas and a happy and successful New Year. Sidney Lutheran Brethren Church 1100 Madison Lane, Sidney MT 433-2209 www.mylightonthehill.org Custom Fencing & Welding, Inc. Larry 798-7754 J.C. 489-3584 Sidney PROTECTING THE ENVIRONMENT IS EVERYONE'S RES00NSIBIUff- INCLUDING OURS At Enerplus, we're committed to being a responsible developer of resources. Through careful planning today, we believe we can reduce our footprint and preserve the landscape for future generations. www.enerplus.com