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RE: serious S-band Interference problem

IANAL either, but:
The Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986 had a specific exclusion
for the radio portion of cordless phone communications, public land mobile
radio (mobile phone), and pager service communications.  This exclusion
didn't make it legal to listen to these services, it just made it less
serious than listening to cell calls. The ECPA was changed by congress when
they passed the Cyber Electronic Security Act in 2002. One part of the
change was to eliminate that exclusion (section 108, sub section 2511,
paragraph (B)). The best part is it was changed from a minor offense for
which one can be fined a maximum of $500 to a federal felony for which one
can be imprisoned for up to 5 years.

The changes haven't filtered down to a lot of the Internet ECPA sites yet
but you can be sure the FCC knows about them.

I am sure I'm within my rights to DF any signal that's inside the bands I'm
licensed to use. However, I have no desire to end up in a test case of a
poorly written law. So, I've emailed the FCC for clarification. While I'm
waiting for their blessing I'll build a DF receiver.
Steve .. AI7W

-----Original Message-----
From: owner-AMSAT-BB@AMSAT.Org [mailto:owner-AMSAT-BB@AMSAT.Org]On
Behalf Of Bruce Bostwick
Sent: Monday, January 13, 2003 19:02
To: amsat-bb@AMSAT.Org
Subject: Re: [amsat-bb] serious S-band Interference problem

IANAL, but as far as I recall with every cordless phone I've bought,
there are disclaimers in the manual that explicitly state users should
not expect privacy.

I also recall that somebody tried this in a criminal case when they
made incriminating statements on a cordless phone and then their highly
paid defense attorney tried to get the phone transcripts ruled
inadmissible because they were obtained without a warrant, and the
court ruled against them and admitted the evidence because there could
be no legitimate expectation of privacy.  As I understand it, this has
long since become black letter law, so if you're after someone with a
cordless phone, don't worry about getting sued -- they'll most likely
be laughed out of court.

As far as I know, the only exception to this is for *analog* cellphone
service in the 820/860 MHz band, which is protected by special FCC
regulations explicitly tailored to that service.  The GSM and GMRS
phones use encryption strong enough that you won't accidentally
eavesdrop on communications, so as long as you're listening only on
analog modes and not decrypting anything you're safe in 2.4 GHz .. and
that's all you're doing because you're just looking for the
transmitter, not explicitly trying to intercept communications.  And as
a primary user of the band I believe you're fully entitled to do that
.. again, IANAL, and consulting a lawyer may still be advisable, but
that's my understanding of the regs as they stand ..

On Monday, Jan 13, 2003, at 11:41 US/Central, Steve wrote:

>  I agree with you that transmissions inside an amateur band should
> be considered public but I'm going to make sure before I pursue it
> any further. If I have an FCC decision in hand, I may be able to avoid
> having to protect my rights in court because some cordless phone
> user has a lawyer in the family.

           --... ...-- -.. . -. ..... ...- -...
                   Bruce Bostwick N5VB

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