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Author Topic: Recent FCC Activity on 6925 kcs.  (Read 11972 times)

Offline Osborne White

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Recent FCC Activity on 6925 kcs.
« on: April 17, 2013, 0814 UTC »
OK, this gosh darned (inherited from SK old pal) IPad POS keeps erasing my posting before I can manage to actually post it!

 Found the following a few minutes ago:

http://transition.fcc.gov/eb/FieldNotices/2003/DOC-320165A1.html

I hope that this "link" works, if not....I can not "copy" and paste with this thing & I thus had to try and type it out from my pencilled notes, and it's late & I am sleepy, very sleepy.....



« Last Edit: April 17, 2013, 0817 UTC by Osborne White »

Offline Zoidberg

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Re: Recent FCC Activity on 6925 kcs.
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2013, 0842 UTC »
Yup, saw it.  Good fellow, sorry to see that.

FWIW, the wording of the notice seems vague, not at all as specific as the typical NOUO for FM pirates.  When I worked for a federal gummint regulatory agency (OSHA) all of our correspondence was by the book, very specific and consistent with regulations and agency policy.  Anything less would get our contested cases tossed out by unsympathetic U.S. magistrates.  My impression of that NOUO is it was hacked out carelessly based on little or no evidence.  But I don't know anything about the FCC's equivalent to a field operations manual.  Maybe they get more leeway than most gummint agencies.
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Offline Pigmeat

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Re: Recent FCC Activity on 6925 kcs.
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2013, 1659 UTC »
I was just wondering what happened to him after seeing his name while looking through an old ACE this past Sunday.

It's a shame to get news of him this way.

Offline PRB

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Re: Recent FCC Activity on 6925 kcs.
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2013, 1906 UTC »
This is not good news. Anytime one of ours "gets the knock" we all feel it. One wonders if sites like the hfunderground are visited by FCC people on a regular basis and the info we post here may aid them in enforcement. In that case we are becoming victims of our own success. :(
Comments anyone?
« Last Edit: April 17, 2013, 1907 UTC by PRB »

Offline Token

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Re: Recent FCC Activity on 6925 kcs.
« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2013, 1930 UTC »
First, to the station that got the knock, sorry to hear about that, I will miss hearing your signal here but more importantly the hassle of having to deal with this situation must suck a bit.

As for reports here (or anyplace on the web), I think it unlikely that anything posted here actually spurs FCC enforcement activity.

The 6900-7000 kHz region is well known for free radio activities.  The FCC has an integrated set of sensors across the US that cover the HF range.  They probably can record and note every signal that is logged here plus others that are not.  However, enforcement in this range just does not (my assumption, but I think a strong one) have the urgency of enforcement in revenue generating and safety of life portions of the spectrum.  Still, they have to show the flag from time to time, probably after complaints have been made, and so someone gets a bust every year or so.

Other than frequency of operation (schedule, not RF frequency ;) ) these logs here really do not say much about the stations reported.  The stations here generally do not keep a very regular schedule, and the last 3 busts I can think of were stations that were not even exceptionally active (in comparison to a couple of others).  Even locality of source is not well defined from these logs, unless possibly if someone specifically happens to mention a station was NOT heard in an area.  For example, just because a station was ONLY reported on the east coast does not mean it is an east coast source, possibly just no west coasters were listening or looking for it.

Just my 2/1000 shekels worth.

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Re: Recent FCC Activity on 6925 kcs.
« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2013, 2027 UTC »
I can't speak for the HFU, but it was "common knowledge" that the FCC paid fairly close attention to the FRN back when it was the happening pirate site in the late 90s and early 00s. People who had access to the FRN's activity logs claimed that there were frequent visits to the site from various .gov addresses that could be associated with the FCC. And, there was someone who used to check in to the old FRN chatroom (long since deactivated) using the handle "Top Cop"; he was rumored to be an FCC agent, perhaps even Riley Hollingsworth, who was supposedly responsible for many of the HF pirate busts back in that era. As far as I know, the FRN was never cited in any of the busts during that time.

Of course, maybe because of Hollingsworth (who has retired), FCC interest in SW pirates seemed to be much higher back then, and certainly there was a lot more FCC activity against SW pirates at the time. It would not surprise me, though, to find that the FCC takes an occasional look at HFU nowadays, for amusement's sake, if nothing else.

This is not good news. Anytime one of ours "gets the knock" we all feel it. One wonders if sites like the hfunderground are visited by FCC people on a regular basis and the info we post here may aid them in enforcement. In that case we are becoming victims of our own success. :(
Comments anyone?

Offline Pigmeat

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Re: Recent FCC Activity on 6925 kcs.
« Reply #6 on: April 17, 2013, 2357 UTC »
But aren't we as a board, bent on the destruction of pirate radio? An old coot in Virginia Beach is convinced of it.

A lot of major prophets hail from that area, Edgar "Atlantis is Rising" Cayce, Pat "The Human Hurricane Barrier" Robertson and Pat "Earthquake" Murphy.

It's not often you find a collection of intellects of that quality in one city.

Offline Token

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Re: Recent FCC Activity on 6925 kcs.
« Reply #7 on: April 18, 2013, 0009 UTC »

It would not surprise me, though, to find that the FCC takes an occasional look at HFU nowadays, for amusement's sake, if nothing else.


I absolutely agree.  I would venture as far as to say I would bet the FCC does look at the info on HFU, probably fairly frequently.  What I was saying is that I doubt they get anything of use from the loggings here, other than possibly a feel for how frequent some stations are in operation.

I have no first hand knowledge of the FCC’s current HF DF capability, but the SOW (this document is public) for the enhancements to the FCC High Frequency Direction Finding Center, enhancements apparently done under DHS funding, does reveal at least some basics of the capability.  Included in this capability is the automatic detection and geolocation of signals and the ability to record large pieces of spectrum for post event analysis.  This means that once they decide to look at a piece of spectrum pretty much everything in it can be recorded and multiple signal locations assessed automatically and simultaneously.  I have used some of the base hardware, such as the core modules to the Agilent Blackbird E3238S and associated VSA’s and RSA’s, and can tell you, it works and works well.

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Offline RCCI

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« Reply #8 on: April 18, 2013, 0027 UTC »
As they say in the Rhythm Method of birth control: "Timing is Everything"

Sorry to the station that got the dreaded "knock".  I sincerely hope the powers that be don't persue it any further. I will add my own 2 sense worth though. Back in the "Good Ole Days"  many of the Pirate programs and broadcasts were under an hour. When the RCCI tapes were produced for relay in the 80's, the program lengths were an average of 30 minutes long. As I recall the shortest was 28 minutes and the longest was 33 minutes. A lot got packed into the programming. Any longer and the relay might not broadcast. Even shows like KNBS, The Voice of Layngitis, Radio Clandestine and others were usually kept under 40 minutes.

I'm a bit surprised when some programming of recent broadcasts tip over the 2 hour mark with extended versions of songs. and multiple broadcasts by the same OP in a single day. That to me is a recipe for the "knock". I'm sorry, but a directional finding van, in another city leaving a home base, getting on a highway, then into city traffic is probably going to take more than 30 minutes maybe 1-2  hours. (see where I'm going?) Poof! You're long gone. Safe to say the van isn't going to sit on a street for 1,2,3-4 weeks waiting for another broadcast. (They have to return to their home base and start all over again)  

 But leave that broadcast on for 2+ hours, the FCC's field unit's got time to stop, grab lunch and still pin you!

Lastly...

When listeners are reporting on this board, broadcasts that are really only "tests" a few minutes long, OPs are still getting reception reports. We may be at a crossroads where we don't have the luxury or the leisure of having a 2 - 2 1/2  hour broadcast and the latest FCC bust is the V-8 Cocktail knock to the head moment. Maybe shorter is better...  RCCI
« Last Edit: April 18, 2013, 1706 UTC by RCCI - Radio Comedy Club International »
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Offline desmoface

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Re: Recent FCC Activity on 6925 kcs.
« Reply #9 on: April 18, 2013, 0056 UTC »
I also saw that posted in one of the chats.  Strangely, he lives fairly close to me.  Im not sure what station this was but I'm sure I heard him at some point.  Hopefully he doesn't face any type of prosecution or fines..

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Offline diymedia

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Re: Recent FCC Activity on 6925 kcs.
« Reply #10 on: April 18, 2013, 1754 UTC »
"Top Cop" on FRN was Richard Lee, then-chief of the FCC's Compliance and Information Bureau.

The FCC does surf the 'net looking for pirate info, but rarely do they use it to start a case (more for supplemental information).

The NOUO looks legit with regard to other HF NOUOs...though it does make me wonder who dimed on the latest op.

Offline Osborne White

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Re: Recent FCC Activity on 6925 kcs.
« Reply #11 on: April 18, 2013, 1843 UTC »
I do not know the op and as well have no idea which station he allegedly is associated with, but...I for one would REALLY be interested in a firsthand account or more accurately, a firsthand "hunch" about any denunciations, etc. that might have been made.  I noted that, unlike the spate of FM enforcement stuff in Washington State, there did NOT seem to be other nearby (to the recipient of the NOUO, that is) enforcement  actions, or rather, none published on their web site, so it does seem as though this was not an "accidental" discovery by the Feds while on some other caper.  Nonetheless, I am going to refrain from hypothesizing about any rats or stoolpigeons, long-eared or otherwise.  If / When the op wishes to, I would very much be interested in his "take" on this, privately or otherwise.  Until then, I guess I'll simply keep my rearview mirror clean, my eyes peeled, and my head down!  Yeah, sure.....

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Offline John Poet

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Re: Recent FCC Activity on 6925 kcs.
« Reply #12 on: April 19, 2013, 2004 UTC »
I noted that, unlike the spate of FM enforcement stuff in Washington State, there did NOT seem to be other nearby (to the recipient of the NOUO, that is) enforcement  actions, or rather, none published on their web site, so it does seem as though this was not an "accidental" discovery by the Feds while on some other caper.  

The FCC does do "routine monitoring" of licensed stations from time to time-- and I'm sure they try to dovetail this in when they have agents in an area on other agency business, having limited resources.  (The FCC does regulate all cellphone comms, which by itself is a huge undertaking.  I suspect a lot of their travel may have to do with this.)  

When they are going to do monitoring, they'll have one of the fully-equipped monitoring vehicles which can also DF stations, as it happens.   They'll  monitor commercial AM or FM stations to check modulation levels, for IDs which they are required to make at least every half-hour, I think it is.  At the same time they may be looking for unlicensed stations which have nothing to do with "pirate radio" as we know it-- unlicensed business users of the VHF/UHF spectrum, for instance.  I've seen NOUOs for those on their site.

I recall back in the day (1982),  Darren Leno,  the founder of A.C.E., happened upon one of these FCC vehicles in his town which was monitoring local radio traffic,  had a conversation with the agent present, and wrote an article about it for the ACE.  It said that the FCC agent "busted the Moorhead Police Department for not ID-ing."

So the FCC has a lot of other uses for those DF vehicles, besides hunting pirate stations.... but if you go on the air with one of those around, they'll definately know it, and start to DF the station, since they can. In such a case, it will happen because they happened upon it-- not because there's been any specific "complaint".

That seems to have been what happened here: indeed, an "accidental bust".  The op in question does not seem to have been on the air often enough for the FCC to have been able to make any reasonable prediction as to when he would even show up again-- so it would be very unlikely they would have dedicated the man-hours just to make an attempt on that operator.  They had to be around for some other reason.  They were just lucky-- and he was very unlucky.

« Last Edit: April 19, 2013, 2009 UTC by John Poet »

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Offline BDM

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Re: Recent FCC Activity on 6925 kcs.
« Reply #13 on: April 20, 2013, 0226 UTC »
Thanks John. That post makes a lot of sense. While under handed stuff or complaints do occur. There isn't a Boogie Man under every rock when it comes to some of the enforcements.
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Offline Jolly Roger

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Re: Recent FCC Activity on 6925 kcs.
« Reply #14 on: April 20, 2013, 1759 UTC »
Even I have to admit that this doesn't have any of the signs of being instigated by the Bunneh bunch. There would have been emails trolling for info, online attacks from the sock puppet army, offers of friendship from other sock puppets so they can troll for info, and generally just childish pissing and moaning from someone with too much time and not enough love in their life. Because the station involved  was neither a relay service or one of the feared Canadians I would have to speculate that the op was just unlucky.
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