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Author Topic: Privacy and FCC callsign database  (Read 7151 times)

Posts: 13

« on: March 21, 2001, 05:32:25 PM »

I just recently became a Ham and was upset to find out the FCC published my mailing address.  As expected, I have began receiving junk mail from Ham Vendors.
The junk mail doesn't concern me, it is a privacy and security issue.  It seems it wouldn't be wise to brag about an expensive base station purchase, or an expensive mobile you just installed in your car that is parked in your driveway, or any other personal information such as travel plans.  It seems a thief could monitor a local repeater and find many easy theft opportunities.

Does this concern anyone else or am I just paranoid?

« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2001, 11:15:14 AM »

You will just have to learn to keep your mouth shut.

Posts: 13

« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2001, 10:31:23 PM »

You just re-affirmed my position.  By not replying with your call sign, you choose to keep your identity and address private.  When transmitting on a Ham tranceiver, you don't have this right.

The FCC indicates they require a mailing address so they may contact you by mail, I don't understand why they have the right to make public this private information.

Posts: 11

« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2001, 08:49:35 PM »

All license information is in the public domain by federal law.  The FCC must make this information available.  There are also things like, the Callbook, etc., that publish your address, class of license, etc.  This information is used by other amateurs to send you QSL cards and the like.  The information is also available to anyone including those who are engaged in selling items to the amateur radio operator.

The same thing holds true for your driver's license, automobile license, etc.  Your state is required by law to provide this information under the open records laws.  The same thing is true on real property, business licenses, sales tax permits, etc.


Posts: 49

« Reply #4 on: March 30, 2001, 06:45:18 PM »

I understand your concern regarding privacy, but I don't think it is anything to worry about. I've been a ham since 1971 and have not had any issues with this data being available. In fact, it has been quite handy when I wanted to track down old friends or contact a ham I had a QSO with.

It would be interesting to see if other hams have had problems with the availability of this data. I can't recall ever hearing of a ham having a problem with it.

If you want to protect your address, one thing you can do is to use a P.O. box for your mailing address. You will still need to provide the FCC with your station location, but only the mailing address gets published.

Ham radio developed long before there was an Internet. On the Internet nobody knows anyone else and that fact is probably reflected in the quality of the chat rooms. In joining ham radio, you are joining a world-wide community where everyone knows everyone else. When you say something on the radio it reflects upon yourself.

I hope this helps. Welcome to the hobby of Amateur Radio!

Chris, K9EQ

Posts: 75

« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2001, 06:16:07 PM »

"In joining ham radio, you are joining a world-wide community where everyone knows everyone else. When you say something on the radio it reflects upon yourself."

. . . which probably helps explain the prevalence of goober-speak on 11m. Make an ignoramus of yourself on the air - who's to know?

Posts: 21764

« Reply #6 on: April 09, 2001, 06:59:27 PM »

You can't hide...we'll find you!

Actually, the FIA makes it pretty hard to "hide" in this country.  But take heart, it's impossible to hide in many other countries, where much more information is in the public domain.  (Look at Scandinavia -- holy cow.  They publish not only where everyone is now, but also where they've ever been, from birth, to death.)

You can, if you're feeling particularly paranoid, provide the FCC with a P.O. Box for a mailing address and that's what would be published for general access.  Oops, too late.  Should have thought of that before, hi hi.

73 de Steve WB2WIK/6

Posts: 19

« Reply #7 on: May 31, 2001, 12:55:04 PM »

 just don't reply,if you don't want to, that is up to you, just look it over and "if there is anything that strikes you, look into it, other wise, file it, in the round file, (file 13)(trash can). rarely will they send more than once.this is my experience..
willie  ag4hy

Posts: 362

« Reply #8 on: June 08, 2001, 10:17:56 PM »

I am quite surprise that you didn't know about callbooks before you got your ticket.  I sure hope you didn't have an Elmer he would have told you this I hope.  I believe the reason you don't have to worry about much is the fact that the only people who would know your call is in a book is another ham. A thief who would be smart enough to look up your call would be smart enough to know that our equipment isn't worth a dime to anyone besides another ham.  I am sure there are some people out there in our hobby who are not the most honest people in the world but for the most I think you will find that the vast majority of hams don't want to be caught with stolen ham gear. They could face a lot more charges than than just having stolen gear.   I haven't heard about much stolen gear since th CB craze of the 70's. When people were stealing them because they thought they were CB's. Actually I like this better than giving my address over the air everytime I wanted a QSL card. You never know who might hear you.  
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