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Riley Hollingsworth to NC Club: Amateur Enforcement 'Very Much Alive':

from The ARRL Letter on November 20, 2014
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Riley Hollingsworth To North Carolina Club: Amateur Enforcement 'Very Much Alive':

Former FCC Special Counsel for Enforcement Riley Hollingsworth, K4ZDH, told the Forsyth Amateur Radio Club that the FCC is still active in the Amateur Radio enforcement arena, even though it's not always apparent. He spoke to the Winston-Salem, North Carolina, club on November 10.

"You may not think so, but enforcement is very much alive," said Hollingsworth, who -- although retired -- still keeps up with goings on at the FCC and with the enforcement activities of his successor, FCC Special Counsel Laura Smith. "You just don't hear a lot about it, as you used to," he said, because ham radio news media report only the "big announcements" these days. During his tenure, Hollingsworth routinely released preliminary letters of inquiry and warning notices to radio amateurs suspected of breaking the rules. Now, he said, the FCC is using "the IRS model" of releasing information, partly in response to privacy considerations.

"You only see final actions [now]," he said. "So, you don't think a lot's being done, but it's all behind the scenes, and you don't know about it."

What is not helpful, he told the club members, is e-mailing or writing Laura Smith or the FCC proper to demand Commission attention to particular enforcement issues. Hollingsworth said the FCC has received "nasty e-mails to FCC personnel" concerning suspected ham radio rule breaking.

"I'm talking about horrible e-mails, threatening e-mails, threatening to the degree that the security office sometimes gets involved," he said. "We've got to stop this." Hiding behind the anonymity of the Internet, he stressed, gives some within the FCC a bad impression of ham radio and could prove counterproductive.

In remarks now familiar to many who have heard him speak at Dayton Hamvention and elsewhere, Hollingsworth also warned his audience members against getting into on-the-air spats with rude or careless operators.

"Don't engage people, and don't humor the idiots," he said. "Stupidity can't be regulated, no matter how good the rules are. Just turn the big knob. Every rig has one."

Hollingsworth's complete talk appears as Episode 174 of the online Amateur Radio television series HamRadioNow, produced by Gary Pearce, KN4AQ. Read more -- Thanks to HamRadioNow and Gary Pearce, KN4AQ


The ARRL Letter

Member Comments:
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Riley Hollingsworth to NC Club: Amateur Enforcement 'Very Mu  
by KE4ZHN on December 2, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
One or two busts every few years is very active? I would hate to see if the FCC went to sleep.
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