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FCC Warns Amateur Radio Operations About Criminal Acts

The Enforcement Bureau of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has advised licensees and operators in the Amateur Radio Service and the Personal Radio Services not to use their operations to commit or facilitate criminal acts.

Issued in mid-January following the protests at the U.S. Capitol, the Enforcement Advisory notes that the Bureau had discovered that certain radio operations might be serving as alternatives to social media platforms “to communicate and coordinate future activities.” The Enforcement Advisory reminds operators that, while radio services may be legally used for a variety of purposes, including speech protected under the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment, it “may not be used to commit or facilitate crimes.”

Those found in violation of the conditions of their licenses face the potential of significant fines, equipment seizure, and even criminal prosecution.

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