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Northern Florida Amateur Radio Emergency Service

House Bill HR2369 was introduced July 30, 1997. This bill as currently drafted would prohibit receiving, divulging, publishing or using any intercepted transmission, and subject violators to substantial fines or prison terms. It also would make it illegal to modify or own equipment that is capable of receiving "the unlawful" radio communications. The FCC would be charged with investigating complaints and enforcing the stiffer regulations. This bill would affect equipment available to scanner enthusiasts; amateurs using equipment for out of band transmissions, such as MARS, CAP, Marine transmissions; Short wave listeners. It would also affect those who monitor Weather Satellites, business radio channels, phone systems, military frequencies, police, fire, and airport downlinks. Many of these frequencies are monitored for legitimate reasons. It is estimated that the bill will take away nearly 20% of the present VHF/UHF spectrum we now use. This bill is presently in the Telecommunications Sub-Committee of the Commerce Committee. The text of the bill can be found at the Library of Congress, Internet: It is vital that you contact your congressman and make sure that He/she knows what this bill will do to communications in this Country and ask that they vote against it. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- Wireless Privacy Enhancement Act of 1997 (Introduced in the House) HR 2369 IH 105th CONGRESS 1st Session H. R. 2369 To amend the Communications Act of 1934 to strengthen and clarify prohibitions on electronic eavesdropping, and for other purposes. IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES July 31, 1997 Mr. TAUZIN (for himself, Mr. MARKEY, Mr. OXLEY, Mr. GILLMOR, Ms. ESHOO, and Ms. MCCARTHY of Missouri) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Commerce --------------------------------------------------------------------------- A BILL To amend the Communications Act of 1934 to strengthen and clarify prohibitions on electronic eavesdropping, and for other purposes. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE. This Act may be cited as the `Wireless Privacy Enhancement Act of 1997'. SEC. 2. COMMERCE IN ELECTRONIC EAVESDROPPING DEVICES. (a) PROHIBITION ON MODIFICATION- Section 302(b) of the Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 302(b)) is amended by inserting before the period at the end thereof the following: `, or to modify any such device, equipment, or system in any manner that causes such device, equipment, or system to fail to comply with such regulations'. (b) PROHIBITION ON COMMERCE IN SCANNING RECEIVERS- Section 302(d) of such Act (47 U.S.C. 302(d)) is amended to read as follows: `(d) The Commission shall prescribe regulations denying equipment authorization (under part 15 of title 47, Code of Federal Regulations, or any other part of that title) for any scanning receiver that is capable of-- `(1) receiving transmissions in the frequencies allocated to any commercial mobile service (as defined in section 332(d), `(2) readily being altered to receive transmissions in such frequencies, `(3) being equipped with decoders that convert digital commercial mobile service transmissions to analog voice audio, or `(4) being equipped with devices that otherwise decode encrypted radio transmissions for the purposes of unauthorized interception.'. (c) IMPLEMENTING REGULATIONS- Within 90 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Federal Communications Commission shall prescribe amendments to its regulations for the purposes of implementing the amendments made by this section. In prescribing such amendments, and in response to subsequent changes in technology or behavior, the Commission shall review and revise its definition of the term `capable of readily being altered' as necessary to prevent commerce in devices that may be used unlawfully to intercept or divulge radio communication. SEC. 3. UNAUTHORIZED INTERCEPTION OR PUBLICATION OF COMMUNICATIONS. (a) AMENDMENTS- Section 705 of the Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 605) is amended-- (1) in the heading of such section, by inserting `interception or' after `unauthorized'; (2) in the second sentence of subsection (a), by striking `and divulge' and inserting `or divulge'; (3) in subsection (e)(1)-- (A) by striking `fined not more than $2,000 or'; and (B) by inserting `or fined under title 18, United States Code,' after `6 months,'; and (4) in subsection (e)(3), by striking `any violation' and inserting `any receipt, interception, divulgence, publication, or utilization of any communication in violation'; and (5) in subsection (e)(4), by striking `any other activity prohibited by subsection (a)' and inserting `any receipt, interception, divulgence, publication, or utilization of any communication in violation of subsection (a)'. (b) RESPONSIBILITY FOR ENFORCEMENT- Notwithstanding any other investigative or enforcement activities of any other Federal agency, the Federal Communications Commission shall investigate alleged violations of section 705 of the Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 605) and may proceed to initiate action under section 503 of such Act (47 U.S.C. 503) to impose forfeiture penalties with respect to such violation upon conclusion of the Commission's investigation. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------



Here is a web page by Betty Bearcat reguarding this: It provides much more info on this bill!

For those that engage in illegal activities, that hurt others, >deal with them and the acts they perpetrate. To make me, or others, >criminals, for possessing forbidden knowledge acquired by forbidden >means, leads to a form of darkness I prefer not to consider. This is what absolutely terrifies me. While I wasn't very smart to speculate on receiving cellphones via the baby monitor, and I'm sorry I posted on that. Bill's comments suggest something awful indeed. I've been curious about technology all my life. Like it or not, it *is* my life, or I wouldn't be here. Now, I have a pile of parts, including several varactor tuners the kind of which are found in great multitudes inside TV's and VCR's. I've been interested in making a spectrum analyzer out of one, and a 137 MHz weather satellite receiver out of the other (I know it's probably not the best way to do the latter, but it's what I have). It happens that probably one or more of the tuners I have can be tuned for cellular, since the 800 MHz band in which they reside was _not_ removed from TV service til sometime afterwards. (That's why TV's end at Ch. 69 now.) Like it or not, that's the case for most of these surplus tuners. Bill, you might tell me: "That's cellular, don't you dare experiment!" I don't give a #$# about cell stuff. I haven't listened since the day I accidentally heard cell stuff on my TV while tuning for TV DX many years ago, which is how I learned about the allocations first hand. :) My scanner's over 10 years old and doesn't cover 800 MHz (or 137 MHz :( ). Imagine the federal marshals coming to my house. They don't know any of this. They only know that I have "suspicious" radio parts. Maybe the neighbors think I'm suspicious or just don't like me. I get busted and my parts and books (like the ARRL Handbook) get confiscated. "Better you than me", one says? We have a *service* that is supposed to promote self-training and technical experimentation. While HR2369 doesn't seem to pose a *direct* threat to that yet, if the rulemaking is carried to further extremes, we could be looking at the end of amateur radio. Who would want to experiment, knowing they could be arrested for doing so. Not for divulging cell calls, which I have no sympathy for those so doing, but just because one is using technology which *might* be used to violate the rules. (Like, what if I'm building one of Laura's microwave downconverters and just happen to use 800 MHz as an IF in its design?) Even though one might never even think once about listening in on their neighbors. Like it or not, ham radio homebrewing practically runs on surplus. It is NOT illegal for me to have those tuners no matter what someone else says. I embrace, normally, appliance operators because even if they're ignorant, that is fixable with a little education. This could be appliance ops by utter fear. And prejudice. >current thread prompted me to read the existing legislation. I >suspect that proposed legislative changes may make me guilty of >greater transgressions; for satisfying my curiosity, a motive for >much that I do. I've been tinkering for almost 25 years. I got into shortwave, CB, scanning, space and now amateur radio. When I passed my test, I was never told to renounce my past experiences, that said experiences would make me less desirable as a ham. Lots of people have scanners. They listen to their local cops or fire. They don't make trouble. They don't do cellular. Some of them even become hams. Deal with it. Letting the other guy get busted as long as it ain't you is a great way of insuring it *will* come to you next time. Who knows what the Telecom Committee will come up with next? This is why I take this seriously. 73, Dave | David Moisan, N1KGH Email: | | WWW: | | Invisible Disabilities Page: | | | | GE Superradio FAQ: | | |

Northern Florida Amateur Radio Emergency Service