'Do Not Call' List is Legal, Federal Court Rules

18 February 2004

The Federal Communications Commission's National Do Not Call Registry was endorsed by the US Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit on Tuesday as "the law of the land as it stands right now" -- or so opines Andrew Serwin, a leading counsel on telemarketing and privacy issues.

The court put it more formally, deeming the Registry not only constitutional but "directly advancing the government's important interests in safeguarding personal privacy and reducing the danger of telemarketing abuse."

The ruling "represents a major victory for American consumers," claimed Timothy Muris, chairman of the Federal Trade Commission which jointly administers the Registry with the FCC. "In upholding the constitutionality of the Registry, the court has made it clear that the FTC and FCC can and will continue to protect consumers' privacy at home."

The Direct Marketing Association, a defendant in the case and the lead trade association for telemarketers, was less euphoric. "We're questioning whether there are grounds for reconsideration or an appeal," said H Robert Wientzen, president/ceo of the DMA. It has ninety days in which to do so.

Data sourced from: USA Today; additional content by WARC staff