97.3 Definitions.

(a) The definitions of terms used in part 97 include

(6) Automatic control. The use of devices
      and procedures for control of a
      station when it is transmitting so that
      compliance with the FCC Rules is
      achieved without the control operator
      being present at a control point.

My thoughts are there are several ways to shutdown a malfunctioning beacon transmitter....  A
UHF link will work....same idea used on many repeaters to serve the same purpose...... a
carrier actuated relay will do the same thing... the carrier varies out of frequency and the
relay drops out...

There are ways to use a telephone system to call a code to open a relay.......even a properly
setup circuit breaker that will "open" the rigs power input incase of higher than normal
amperage draw caused by a mal-functioning rig........ I even think that the ability to call a
person to pull the plug would serve the same.

There have been interpretations of the rule that it can include a lock and key set-up to
prevent unauthorized access to the beacon transmitter....  and I can see this.... keeps an
un-authorized person from changing the frequency...upping the power...altering the
message....This is what a control operator does when present at the control point...... makes
sure that FCC rules are followed....... Well, beacon Ops follow the rules when they ID by call
sign via the message....they follow the rules by keeping the power under 100 Watts.......they
follow the rules by not maliciously interfering with another licensed operation......(Frequency coordination)
...... they follow the rules when their rigs are putting out a clean signal...... So if this rule abiding
setup is operating with a security that prevents un-authorized use....it pretty well serves the
purpose....