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Memorandum of Understanding between the
United States Federal Communications
Commission and the Canadian Radio-
television and Telecommunications
Commission on Mutual Assistance in the
Enforcement of Laws on Automated
Telephone Calls and Inaccurate Caller
The United States Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) and the Canadian Radio-
television and Telecommunications Commission (“CRTC”) (collectively, “the Participants”),
RECOGNIZING the importance of developing a global and coordinated approach to address
unlawful automated telephone calls (in Canada referred to as automated dialing-announcing
devices (ADADs) (also known as robocalls), and inaccurate caller identification (also known as
caller id spoofing), and the threats that they pose to consumers and their confidence in critical
RECOGNIZING that the Participants serve together on the Secretariat of the London Action
Plan (now known as UCENet - Unsolicited Communications Enforcement Network) and are
signatories to the associated Memorandum of Understanding Among Public Authorities of the
London Action Plan Pertaining to Unlawful Telecommunications and Spam; have worked
closely in connection with numerous investigations and enforcement actions relating to unlawful
robocalls and caller id spoofing; and have collaborated on promoting technological solutions to
RECOGNIZING that the U.S. Communications Act of 1934, 47 U.S.C. § 151 et seq., as
amended by the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, authorizes the FCC to disclose
information to law enforcement authorities from other countries under appropriate
RECOGNIZING that an Act known generally as the Canadian Anti-Spam Law (CASL)
authorizes the CRTC to disclose information to an institution of the government of a foreign
state in specified circumstances and under certain conditions;
HAVE REACHED THE FOLLOWING UNDERSTANDING:
For the purposes of this Memorandum,
1. “Applicable Law” means the laws and regulations identified in Annex 1, and such other
laws or regulations as the Participants may from time to time jointly decide in writing to
be an Applicable Law for purposes of this Memorandum.
2. “Covered Violation” means practices that would violate the Applicable Laws of one
Participant's country and that are substantially similar to practices prohibited by any
provision of the Applicable Law of the other Participant's country.
3. “Person” means any natural person or legal entity, including corporations, unincorporated
associations, or partnerships, existing under or authorized by the laws of the United
States, its States, or its Territories, or the laws of Canada.
4. “Request” means a request for assistance under this Memorandum.
5. “Requested Participant” means the Participant from which assistance is sought under this
Memorandum, or which has provided such assistance.
6. “Requesting Participant” means the Participant seeking assistance under this
Memorandum, or which has received such assistance.
II. Objectives and Scope
1. This Memorandum sets forth the Participants’ intent with regard to mutual assistance and
the exchange of information for the purpose of enforcing and securing compliance with
Covered Violations. The Participants do not intend the provisions of this Memorandum to
create legally binding obligations under international or domestic laws.
2. The Participants understand that it is in their common public interest to:
1. cooperate with respect to the enforcement against Covered Violations, including
sharing complaints and other relevant information and providing investigative
2. facilitate research and education related to unlawful robocalls and caller id
3. facilitate mutual exchange of knowledge and expertise through training programs
and staff exchanges;
4. promote a better understanding by each Participant of economic and legal
conditions and theories relevant to the enforcement of the Applicable Laws; and
5. inform each other of developments in their respective countries that relate to this
Memorandum in a timely fashion.
3. In furtherance of these common interests, and subject to Section IV, the Participants
intend to use best efforts to:
1. disclose information upon request and as permitted by law, including complaints
and other personally identifiable information, that a Participant believes would be
relevant to investigations or enforcement proceedings regarding Covered
Violations of the Applicable Laws of the other Participant’s country;
2. provide investigative assistance in appropriate cases in accordance with their
respective domestic law;
3. provide other relevant information in relation to matters within the scope of this
Memorandum, such as information relevant to consumer and business education;
government and self-regulatory enforcement solutions; amendments to relevant
legislation; and staffing and other resource issues;
4. explore the feasibility of staff exchanges and joint training programs;
5. coordinate enforcement against cross-border Covered Violations that are a
priority for both Participants;
6. collaborate on initiatives to promote technical and commercially viable solutions
to unlawful robocalls and caller id spoofing;
7. participate in periodic teleconferences to discuss ongoing and future opportunities
for cooperation; and
8. provide other appropriate assistance that would aid in the enforcement against
III. Procedures Relating to Mutual Assistance
1. Each Participant is to designate a primary contact for the purposes of requests and other
communications under this Memorandum. Notice of these designations and any
subsequent changes is to be sent to the CRTC in care of the Chief Compliance and
Enforcement Officer and to the FCC in care of the Chief of the Enforcement Bureau.
2. If a Participant requests assistance for matters involved in the enforcement of Applicable
Laws, then Participants understand that:
1. requests for assistance are to include sufficient information to enable the
Requested Participant to determine whether a request relates to a Covered
Violation and to take action in appropriate circumstances. Such information is
expected to include a description of the facts underlying the request and the type
of assistance sought, as well as an indication of any special precautions that are
expected to be taken in the course of fulfilling the request;
2. requests for assistance are to specify the purpose for which the information
requested would be used;
3. in conformity with CASL Section 60, information disclosed by the CRTC as
envisioned by this Memorandum and related requests for assistance are to be used
only for the purpose of investigating possible contraventions of laws that do not
have consequences that would be considered penal under Canadian law;
4. civil penalties provided under Applicable Laws are not considered to be penal as
that term is used in CASL Section 60; and
5. consistent with Section V, a request for assistance is to confirm that the
Requesting Participant is to maintain the confidentiality of each request for
assistance, the existence of any investigation related to the request, all materials
related to each request, and all information and material provided in response to
each request, unless the Participants reach a different understanding.
3. Participants should use their best efforts to resolve any disagreements related to
cooperation that may arise under this Memorandum through the contacts designated
pursuant to Section III.1, and, failing resolution in a reasonably timely manner, by
discussion between appropriate senior officials designated by the Participants.
IV. Limitations on Assistance
1. The Requested Participant may exercise its discretion to decline the request for
assistance, or limit or place conditions on its cooperation, including where the request is
outside the scope of this Memorandum or, more generally, where cooperation would be
inconsistent with domestic laws or important interests or priorities.
2. The Participants recognize that it is not feasible for a Participant to offer assistance to the
other Participant for every Covered Violation. Accordingly, the Participants intend to use
best efforts to seek and provide cooperation focusing on those Covered Violations most
serious in nature, such as those that cause or are likely to cause injury to a significant
number of persons, and those otherwise causing substantial injury.
3. The Requesting Participant may request the reasons for which the Requested Participant
declined or limited assistance.
4. Participants intend to share confidential information pursuant to this Memorandum only
to the extent that it is necessary to fulfill the purposes set forth in Section II.
V. Confidentiality, Privacy, and Limitations on Use
1. To the fullest extent possible, and consistent with their respective laws, each Participant
certifies the confidentiality of information to be disclosed under this Memorandum,
including the existence of an investigation to which the information relates. Subject to
Section V, the Participants plan to treat the shared information, the existence of the
investigation to which the information relates, and any requests made pursuant to this
Memorandum as confidential, and do not intend to further disclose or use this
information for purposes other than those for which it was originally shared, without the
prior written consent of the Requested Participant.
2. The Participants recognize that material exchanged in connection with investigations and
enforcement often contains personally identifiable information. If the Requesting
Participant wishes to obtain confidential information that includes personally identifiable
information, then the Participants understand that they are to take additional appropriate
measures to safely transmit and safeguard the materials containing personally identifiable
information. Protective measures include, but are not limited to, the following examples
and their reasonable equivalents, which can be used separately or combined as
appropriate to particular circumstances:
1. transmitting the material in an encrypted format;
2. transmitting the material directly by a courier with package tracking capabilities;
3. transmitting the materials by facsimile rather than non-encrypted email;
4. maintaining the materials in secure, limited access locations (e.g., password-
protected files for electronic information and locked storage for hard-copy
5. if used in a proceeding that may lead to public disclosure, redacting personally
identifiable information or filing under seal.
3. Notwithstanding Section V.1, nothing in this Memorandum is intended to:
1. authorize a Participant to withhold information provided pursuant to this
Memorandum in response to a formal demand from a Participant country’s
legislative body or an order issued from a court with proper jurisdiction in an
action commenced by the Participant or its government; or
2. prevent material obtained in connection with the investigation or enforcement of
criminal laws from being used for the purpose of investigation, prosecution, or
prevention of violations of either Participant’s country’s criminal laws.
4. Each Participant is to use best efforts to safeguard the security of any information
received under this Memorandum and respect any safeguards decided on by the
Participants. In the event of any access or disclosure of the information that is
inconsistent with this Memorandum, the Participants are to take all reasonable steps to
remedy such access or disclosure and to prevent a recurrence of the event and are to
promptly notify the other Participant of the occurrence.
5. The Participants are to oppose, to the fullest extent possible consistent with their
countries' laws, any application by a third party for disclosure of confidential information
or materials received from a Requested Participant, unless the Requested Participant
consents to its release. The Participant that receives such an application is to notify
forthwith the Participant that provided it with the confidential information.
VI. Changes in Applicable Laws
In the event of significant modification to the Applicable Laws of a Participant's country that are
within the scope of this Memorandum, the Participants intend to consult promptly, and, if
possible, prior to the effective date of such enactments, to determine whether to modify this
VII. Retention of Information
1. Participants do not intend to retain materials obtained through this Memorandum for
longer than is reasonably required to fulfill the purpose for which they were shared or
than is required by the Requesting Participant's country's laws.
2. The Participants recognize that in order to fulfill the purpose for which the materials were
shared, the Participants typically need to retain the shared materials until the conclusion
of the pertinent investigation for which the materials were requested and any related
Unless otherwise decided by the Participants, the Requested Participant is expected to pay all
costs of executing the Request. When the cost of providing or obtaining information under this
Memorandum is substantial, the Requested Participant may ask the Requesting Participant to pay
those costs as a condition of proceeding with the Request. In such an event, the Participants
should consult on the issue at the request of either Participant.
IX. Duration of Cooperation
1. The Participants intend cooperation in accordance with this Memorandum to commence
as of the date the Memorandum is signed by the Participants.
2. The Participants intend that assistance consistent with this Memorandum is to be
available concerning Covered Violations occurring before as well as after this
arrangement is signed.
3. This Memorandum may be discontinued, but a Participant is expected to provide 30 days
written notice of such discontinuation. However, prior to providing such notice, each
Participant is expected to use best efforts to consult with the other Participant.
4. On discontinuation of this Memorandum, the Participants are to, in accordance with
Section V, maintain the confidentiality of any information communicated to them by the
other Participant consistent with this Memorandum, and return or destroy, consistent with
any methods prescribed by the other Participant, information obtained from the other
Participant consistent with this Memorandum.
5. This Memorandum may be modified by mutual consent of the Participants. Any
modification is expected to be in writing and signed by both the FCC and the CRTC.
X. Legal Effect
Nothing in this Memorandum is intended to:
1. Create binding obligations, or affect existing obligations, under international or domestic
2. Prevent a Participant from seeking assistance from or providing assistance to the other
Participant pursuant to other agreements, arrangements, or practices.
3. Affect any right of a Participant to seek information on a lawful basis from a Person
located in the territory of the other Participant's country, or preclude any such Person
from voluntarily providing legally obtained information to a Participant.
4. Create a commitment that conflicts with either Participant’s national laws, court orders,
or any applicable international legal instruments.
5. Create expectations of cooperation that would exceed a Participant's jurisdiction.
Signed at Washington, D.C. on November 16th, 2016 and at Ottawa on November 17th, 2016, in
Travis LeBlanc Steven Harroun
Chief, Enforcement Bureau Chief Compliance and Enforcement Officer
Federal Communications Commission Canadian Radio-television and
United States of America Telecommunications Commission
1. Federal Communications Commission
1. Federal Communications Act, 47 U.S.C. §§ 151-155, 227
2. Telephone Consumer Protection Act and the Truth in Caller ID Act, 47 U.S.C.
3. Federal Communications Commission Rule, 47 CFR § 0.111(a)(24)
2. Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission
1. An Act to promote the efficiency and adaptability of the Canadian economy by
regulating certain activities that discourage reliance on electronic means of
carrying out commercial activities, and to amend the Canadian Radio-television
and Telecommunications Commission Act, the Competition Act, the Personal
Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act and the
Telecommunications Act, S.C. 2010, c. 23
2. Telecommunications Act, S.C. 1993 as amended
3. Unsolicited Telecommunications Rules, made pursuant to section 41 of the