ARRL

ARRL General Bulletin ARLB010 (1999)

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ARLB010 Wireless Privacy Bill Reintroduced

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ARRL Bulletin 10  ARLB010
From ARRL Headquarters  
Newington CT  February 11, 1999
To all radio amateurs 

SB QST ARL ARLB010
ARLB010 Wireless Privacy Bill Reintroduced

The Wireless Privacy Enhancement Act of 1999, HR514, has been
introduced by Rep Heather Wilson of New Mexico.  The measure is
aimed at amending the Communications Act of 1934 ''to strengthen and
clarify prohibitions on electronic eavesdropping, and for other
purposes.''

''HR514 is identical to the amended version of HR2369 that passed the
House on a 414-to-1 vote during the last session,'' said ARRL
Legislative and Public Affairs Manager Steve Mansfield, N1MZA.  The
Senate did not act on that measure.

The original bill, HR2369, would have banned most types of scanners
and scanner listening, however, the bill's sponsor, Rep Billy
Tauzin, worked with the ARRL and representatives of manufacturers,
public service organizations, and scanner enthusiasts to redraft the
bill top to bottom.

HR514 forbids manufacturing or modifying scanners to receive
cellular, PCS, or ''protected'' paging service frequencies.  The bill
also forbids receiving, divulging, publicizing, or utilizing such
communication.  The measure is part of a package of legislation
introduced early in the session in the expectation that it will pass
quickly and help restore Congressional momentum.

Mansfield says, however, that the Senate prospects for HR514 remain
murky.

While Amateur Radio appears to be unaffected by the new bill, the
League is on record as opposing the expansion of prohibitions on
radio monitoring beyond those that now exist to protect the privacy
of services that interface with wireline networks.

HR514 has been referred to the Commerce Committee.  The bipartisan
list of co-sponsors of HR514 includes Reps Tauzin of Louisiana,
Markey of Massachusetts, Oxley of Ohio, Eshoo and Rogan of
California, Deal of Georgia, Wynn of Maryland, Cubin of Wyoming,
Luther of Minnesota, Sawyer and Gillmor of Ohio, and Pickering of
Mississippi.

A copy of the bill is available on the Web at
http://thomas.loc.gov/.
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