WASHINGTON — The FTC’s National Do Not Call Registry, one of the federal government’s more broadly popular functions, is offline thanks to the government shutdown. That means more robocalls being made – and nobody around to stop them.
Like the Department of Homeland Security, the IRS and other agencies, the FTC has experienced a lapse in funding since Dec. 28 after President Donald Trump refused to sign a continuing resolution that would have funded the government through February.
The shutdown has meant federal employees across the board have been furloughed or, in cases like the TSA, air traffic controllers and Coast Guard, ordered to work without pay. The FTC employees who oversee the Do Not Call Registry are on the former list, meaning its not available for those who want to sign up, or for the telemarketers who are supposed to abide by it.
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The sign-up page for the registry has been changed to a simple block of text explaining that the registry is closed until the shutdown is resolved.
The registry isn’t the only FTC service offline while the shutdown continues. The websites for identity theft, consumer and international complaints are also offline, as is the Consumer Sentinel Network, which gives law enforcement access to the FTC’s database of complaints covering a range of issues from identity theft, do-not-call registry violations, telemarketing scams, and debt collection and financial matters.
A select number of FTC services are available during the shutdown, including public comment through ftc.gov or regulations.gov, e-filing and FOIA requests – although the FTC won’t take action on any submissions until the shutdown concludes.