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Re: [Discuss-gnuradio] Part 15 and Gnuradio...

From: Dave Emery
Subject: Re: [Discuss-gnuradio] Part 15 and Gnuradio...
Date: Wed, 18 Dec 2002 16:04:30 -0500
User-agent: Mutt/1.4i

On Wed, Dec 18, 2002 at 09:11:15AM -0800, Steve Schear wrote:
> >
> >Right...  I can't see the FCC do this as there is so much money and
> >politics preventing that.  They could try to do what the FCC did
> >with radios that can receive Cellular freqs, by limiting sales to
> >"professional" folks and organizations.
> Fortunately, all the "restricted" can be harvest from obsolete consumer 
> gear, for example cable modems, at least for building receivers.  They 
> would have to ban down converters and all RF kits. Nahhh.

        They already have.  Read the rules and NPRMS.

        There IS a ban on downconverters that cover 800 mhz cellular.

        And there have been enforcement actions and threats of
enforcement actions against companies offering "kits" that when
assembled provided unapproved capabilities.   And as I understand also
enforcement of the part 15 rules regarding kits that implemented any
device subject to FCC part 15 approval under law (most all consumer
electronics - radios, TVs etc...).  Essentially one has to have the
completed kit built device approved under part 15 before one can sell
the kit.  Thus I don't believe one could get away with offering a kit
that when assembled implemented something that had not passed part 15
approval or approval under any other rules and especially not something
that would not pass such approval by its very nature.

        So one is left with two exceptions.   The you can build it at
home if you build less than 6 rule and the professional test equipment
not marketed to the general public rule.

        But even these are qualified - under the recent scanner NPRM the
FCC made it very clear that merely modifying your own scanner for your
own use in the privacy of your home to cover 800 mhz cellular was
something they regarded as a violation of their rules and potentially
actionable.   And they made it crystal clear that they would actually
prosecute anyone offering such a service or such modified scanners to
the public.  (And there were companies and individuals doing a brisk
business doing exactly this).

        Obviously the question of software in this context has never
been raised except as far as PC based POCSAG/Golay pager decoders (found
by a NY federal district court to be Title III devices "primarily useful
for the surreptitious interception of communications" and thus
possession, sale, production (possibly including merely writing code),
import, export, advertising all criminalized under the wiretap laws).

        I shall have to dig through my archives and forward a copy or
pointer to the NPRMs involved.   The one on professional test equipment
is illuminating and very scary when you read the industry comments -
several advocating a complete ban on possession of many kinds of rf test
equipment by the general public.

        Dave Emery N1PRE,  address@hidden  DIE Consulting, Weston, Mass. 
PGP fingerprint = 2047/4D7B08D1 DE 6E E1 CC 1F 1D 96 E2  5D 27 BD B0 24 88 C3 18

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