Letter Re: Communications in Dark Times

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HJL,

I want to point out one thing J.B. might have overlooked. Part 97 of the FCC’s rules governing Amateur Radio allow the government to suspend privileges in an emergency. While they can’t turn off the airwaves, there are things they can do:

  1. Monitor the airwaves. (It’s difficult to cover them all, but possible.)
  2. Jam signals in popular frequencies (if not all).
  3. Arrest violators.
  4. Turn off at least some if not all repeaters. (Our county’s repeaters are partially funded by our EOC. All employees of the EOC are amateur operators, and they can control all of our county’s repeaters.)
  5. Intimidate enough sheeple that your messages might not get passed on.
  6. Monitor for RF coming from your location without being on your exact frequency. If they have withdrawn your privileges, any RF coming from you is a violation, no matter whether it is FRS, CB, or Amateur.

Also remember that Amateur Radio is NOT private. Anyone can legally own and operate a receiver, and coded transmissions are forbidden except on designated frequencies and for Morse code only.

What you might choose to do after WROL is up to you, but depending on the circumstances the above might still be possible. – F.K.

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