The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) warns against illegal usage

Jan 18th, 2021 | By | Category: Chatter

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) warned against using radio services to “facilitate criminal acts,” ahead of President-elect Joe Biden’s upcoming inauguration this Wednesday.

The warning, issued from FCC’s Enforcement Bureau, followed reports that some people were using radio services as an alternative to social media sites in order to communicate and coordinate activities.

“The Bureau recognizes that these services can be used for a wide range of permitted purposes, including speech that is protected under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution,” the agency said in a Sunday statement. “Amateur and Personal Radio Services, however, may not be used to commit or facilitate crimes.”

“The Bureau reminds amateur licensees that they are prohibited from transmitting ‘communications intended to facilitate a criminal act’ or ‘message encoded for the purpose of obstructing their meaning,” the agency added.

The FCC noted that people who choose to use radios in the Amateur or Personal Radio Service in this fashion may face penalties, such as significant fines, equipment seizure or criminal prosecution.

The National Association for Amateur Radio (ARRL) also issued a statement on its website Sunday, saying that they don’t support the misuse of radio services.

“For over 100 years amateur radio and ARRL– the National Association for Amateur Radio– have stood for the development of the science and art of communications, public service, and the enhancement of international goodwill,” the association said.