[TowerTalk] Re: Local police and RFI problems

J. Bradshaw ac6tk@cybertime.net
Tue, 10 Feb 1998 10:52:39 -0800


>	Our local newspaper has just carried a story about
>the police charging a local CB operator with criminal 
>mischief because he was causing RFI to a neighbor's computer
>One of the 
>people that I talked with said that the city attorney planned
>to pursue charges against the cb'er on the basis of the new
>law PENDING in Congress that would give local authorities some
>degree of legal control over interference caused by CB operators.  

This is a rather disturbing trend.  Radio is considered to give certain
tactical advantage to criminals (and civilians) so has been a target law
enforcement types.  Out here, RACES or other volunteer government
participation is encouraged so that we as hams might be perceived as "good
guys".  The only difficulty with that comes from those who are so
"privileged" as to beat down the rest of ham radio for "good guy" points.

Yes, the FCC is the responsible agency who has jurisdiction over radio
matters in the United States and has reserved jurisdiction over the states,
because radio signals don't hold to political borders.  However, in the Los
Angeles area we have seen little enforcement because The FCC has had some
embarrassing setbacks with cases here.  

Recently a state court case over a local repeater pitted a bunch of
"newbies" and fresh CB converts against a veteran ham control
operator/owner.  In a hail of dis-information and mis-interpretation of the
FCC laws, it was determined that since the "control operator" of the
repeater was one who had "physical control" of the repeater, and since
possession was 9/10 etc., etc., then the "new repeater committee" who had
changed the lock on the vault, the ID'er and posted guards at the site must
be the "control operators".  Further, the court decided that it was a state
court matter to decide owner/control operator status in cases of dispute. 
Now the "New Committee" could proceed to jack up the power and the antenna
and talk to Mexico.

Anyone with any practical and theoretical technical experience, knows that
audio devices become receivers most often due to compromises in
engineering.  It took 5 turns of the phone line on a torroid to allow me to
operate on 80m with a tuner and still be connected to my ISP.  This simple
$1 fix for a worst case scenario might be beyond someone not qualified by
our stringent technical standards.  Heck many people don't even understand
the "funny noises" on their cordless phone, or what the "channel" button is
for, but the neighbor 2 doors down has the same problem!  So we are left
with trying to convince those without technical justification and the
determination of a hammer, not to strike.  

I bet a lot of people who questioned the technical merit of executing the
Jews, were killed by those who wondered the same thing but kept their
mouths shut.  A lot more were killed for just riding the train to the end
of the line.

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