Question about submitting an Amateur Radio Complaint with F.C.C.

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bill4long

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Some are saying "If you don't like it, twirl the dial". But I'm fairly confident most would agree that there are more folks without a license listening to hams on scanners and shortwave receivers, then there are listening with a license.
Are you saying that non-hams who are listening are somehow unable to "twirl the dial" when they hear something objectionable to their sensibilities?
 

Golay

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Are you saying that non-hams who are listening are somehow unable to "twirl the dial" when they hear something objectionable to their sensibilities?
I think you are missing the point that I made in post #52, and others in this thread are also saying.

Non-hams are the general public.
As more and more public service moves to spectrum that older scanners can't hear, the people with those scanners are going to want to listen to something. They are going to end up listening to us. We have long conversations, as opposed to sporadic transmissions from a DPW dump truck or a school bus.

Left unchecked, It's only a matter of time before somebody calls a TV station or a newspaper and says "Listen to what I hear on my police scanner". Don't you possibly think a news story about "potty-mouths" on the air, that you know is going to end up being a YouTube video, just might be a tad detrimental to the hobby? Don't you think that sort of story floating around the internet weakens the ARRL's defense from special interests and the FCC wanting to grab airspace from us?

Yes it's a very small percentage of the amateur community with foul language. But like I said in Post #52, telecommunication interest, including our FCC, are lined up like a picket fence looking for additional spectrum.

Many may disagree with the actions I suggested in Post #42. But we are on our own. It's time to be pro-active to protect our spectrum. It's already being done in Detroit. Here in the Heartland where the men are men, we don't need the FCC to hold our hand to keep the repeaters from the cesspool language that hams along the East and West Coast are letting slide.
Waiting on the FCC is a noble cause that's going to fail, don't you agree?
 
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AK9R

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As more and more public service moves to spectrum that older scanners can't hear, the people with those scanners are going to want to listen to something. They are going to end up listening to us.
Maybe. Maybe not. The folk who had "police scanners" had them because they wanted to listen to police and fire. When they can't listen to their local public safety agencies on their scanners, they may go looking for something else. Or, they may not. They only knew where to find police/fire because someone told them the frequencies. Will they use their scanners' search feature and find the local amateur radio repeaters? I'm not sure.

Many may disagree with the actions I suggested in Post #42. But we are on our own. It's time to be pro-active to protect our spectrum...Waiting on the FCC is a noble cause that's going to fail, don't you agree?
I don't believe that we are completely on our own. The FCC and the ARRL have collaborated to form a new volunteer monitor program. The program's head is Riley Hollingsworth K4ZDH who is an attorney and was the FCC's point man for amateur radio enforcement before he retired. He has prepared a vetting and training program for these volunteer monitors and they are getting up to speed around the country.

That said, we have to accept two principles of FCC rules enforcement: 1. They are going to go after the "big fish" or "easy targets", depending on your point of view. A rules violation on HF affects a lot more people, inside and outside the U.S. borders, than violations on a local repeater. 2. Because of the legal environment in which the FCC operates, they have to jump through a lot of procedural hoops to make sure their cases will stick. They aren't going to cite someone unless they have hard evidence to back up their actions.
 

bill4long

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Left unchecked, It's only a matter of time before somebody calls a TV station or a newspaper and says "Listen to what I hear on my police scanner". Don't you possibly think a news story about "potty-mouths" on the air, that you know is going to end up being a YouTube video, just might be a tad detrimental to the hobby?
TV station? Newspaper? This is just fantasy-land stuff. :LOL:

And if you spend a little time at any middle school in America you'll know why.
 

k6cpo

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Maybe. Maybe not. The folk who had "police scanners" had them because they wanted to listen to police and fire. When they can't listen to their local public safety agencies on their scanners, they may go looking for something else. Or, they may not. They only knew where to find police/fire because someone told them the frequencies. Will they use their scanners' search feature and find the local amateur radio repeaters? I'm not sure.


I don't believe that we are completely on our own. The FCC and the ARRL have collaborated to form a new volunteer monitor program. The program's head is Riley Hollingsworth K4ZDH who is an attorney and was the FCC's point man for amateur radio enforcement before he retired. He has prepared a vetting and training program for these volunteer monitors and they are getting up to speed around the country.

That said, we have to accept two principles of FCC rules enforcement: 1. They are going to go after the "big fish" or "easy targets", depending on your point of view. A rules violation on HF affects a lot more people, inside and outside the U.S. borders, than violations on a local repeater. 2. Because of the legal environment in which the FCC operates, they have to jump through a lot of procedural hoops to make sure their cases will stick. They aren't going to cite someone unless they have hard evidence to back up their actions.
I personally don't hold out a lot of hope for the new Volunteer Monitor Program. I honestly don't think it will be any more effective that the old "Official Observer" program because I don't see the FCC changing their enforcement policies for the better anytime soon.
 

bill4long

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The essence of the VM program, from the ARRL:

Volunteer Monitors (VMs) will develop “patterned” reports of predicted times, days, bands, frequencies, transmitter locations or azimuths (if known) and types of operation of rule violators who act on a repeated basis. These “patterned” reports developed over time from individual VMs will be reviewed by ARRL Headquarters staff and forwarded by ARRL staff to FCC for action. This will allow FCC staff to very specifically empower its remaining field office personnel to gather evidence (which FCC has decided it must do for itself in every case) to cause enforcement actions to take place. We are assured that each patterned report will result in some contact by FCC with the subject of the complaint. Coordination of cases and evidence gathering will be the responsibility of the staff at ARRL headquarters and the FCC will retain the responsibility for the final decision on which cases they will take enforcement action.
 

RF_Exorcist

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The essence of the VM program, from the ARRL:

Volunteer Monitors (VMs) will develop “patterned” reports of predicted times, days, bands, frequencies, transmitter locations or azimuths (if known) and types of operation of rule violators who act on a repeated basis. These “patterned” reports developed over time from individual VMs will be reviewed by ARRL Headquarters staff and forwarded by ARRL staff to FCC for action. This will allow FCC staff to very specifically empower its remaining field office personnel to gather evidence (which FCC has decided it must do for itself in every case) to cause enforcement actions to take place. We are assured that each patterned report will result in some contact by FCC with the subject of the complaint. Coordination of cases and evidence gathering will be the responsibility of the staff at ARRL headquarters and the FCC will retain the responsibility for the final decision on which cases they will take enforcement action.
Unless I'm mistaken, the true "magic" of the VM program is that the Enforcement Bureau is now going to have the ability to use as evidence in enforcement cases "evidence" that wasn't collected by agents of the Bureau. Traditionally, the only sort of evidence that was supposed to be used in enforcement actions was that collected by the Bureau itself, but ZDH threw that requirement out in extreme fashion in many of his highly targeted retests [which he didn't have the authority to issue under 97] as well as his acceptance of "evidence" from non-FCC personnel in his vendetta against Bill Crowell.

I don't believe ZDH was a good enforcer of the rules and I have little hope for any effort on the part of the ARRL that involves him.
 

bill4long

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Unless I'm mistaken, the true "magic" of the VM program is that the Enforcement Bureau is now going to have the ability to use as evidence in enforcement cases "evidence" that wasn't collected by agents of the Bureau. Traditionally, the only sort of evidence that was supposed to be used in enforcement actions was that collected by the Bureau itself, but ZDH threw that requirement out in extreme fashion in many of his highly targeted retests [which he didn't have the authority to issue under 97] as well as his acceptance of "evidence" from non-FCC personnel in his vendetta against Bill Crowell.

I don't believe ZDH was a good enforcer of the rules and I have little hope for any effort on the part of the ARRL that involves him.
The FCC will still be gathing their own evidence, as the above states. Civilian evidence will never be used as the basis for any NAL or other legal action. Civilians have absolutely no legal authority.
 
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