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New York State passes Anti Pirate Radio law (S-5739, A-326)

I wrote about this before, garnering several negative comments, both from the cost and effectiveness perspectives. Prompted by the New York State Broadcasters Association, the Senate and Assembly passed the legislation on Wednesday. It was refined somewhat, with frequencies specified in the AM broadcast and FM broadcast band.  The revised writing softens the criminality somewhat, making the first offense a class A misdemeanor and subsequent offenses class D felonies.

It also broadens the enforcement actions to allow seizure and destruction of radio transmission equipment, antennas, computers, and studio equipment used during the act. The law provides no provision for part 15 broadcasting, which is defined as license free operation under FCC rules.

The law amends the NY State Penal code, by adding section 190:

S 190.72 UNAUTHORIZED RADIO TRANSMISSION IN THE SECOND DEGREE.
 A PERSON IS GUILTY OF AN UNAUTHORIZED RADIO TRANSMISSION IN THE SECOND
 DEGREE WHEN SUCH PERSON:
 1.  KNOWINGLY  MAKES OR CAUSES TO BE MADE A RADIO TRANSMISSION IN THIS
 STATE, ON RADIO FREQUENCIES ASSIGNED AND LICENSED BY THE FEDERAL  COMMU
 NICATIONS  COMMISSION  FOR USE BY AM RADIO STATIONS BETWEEN THE FREQUEN
 CIES OF 530 KHZ TO 1700 KHZ, OR FM RADIO STATIONS BETWEEN  THE  FREQUEN
 CIES  OF  88  MHZ TO 108 MHZ, WITHOUT FIRST HAVING OBTAINED A LICENSE OR
 OTHER AUTHORIZATION FROM THE FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION, OR  DULY
 AUTHORIZED FEDERAL AGENCY; OR
 2.  KNOWINGLY  CAUSES,  EITHER DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY, INTERFERENCE TO
 ANY AM RADIO STATIONS BETWEEN THE FREQUENCIES OF 530 KHZ TO 1700 KHZ, OR
 FM RADIO STATIONS BETWEEN THE FREQUENCIES OF 88 MHZ TO 108  MHZ  WITHOUT
 AUTHORIZATION  BY  THE FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION OR DULY AUTHOR
 IZED FEDERAL AGENCY.
 ANY EQUIPMENT, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE TRANSMITTING  ANTENNA,
 TRANSMITTER, MASTER CONTROL, SERVERS AND COMPUTERS, USED TO PROVIDE SUCH
 ILLEGAL  RADIO  TRANSMISSIONS  SHALL  BE  SUBJECT  TO  SEIZURE AND, UPON
 CONVICTION, SUBJECT TO DESTRUCTION  PURSUANT  TO  ARTICLE  FOUR  HUNDRED
 SEVENTEEN OF THIS CHAPTER.
 UNAUTHORIZED  RADIO  TRANSMISSION  IN  THE  SECOND DEGREE IS A CLASS A
 MISDEMEANOR.

S 2. The penal law is amended by adding a new section 190.73  to  read
 as follows:

S 190.73 UNAUTHORIZED RADIO TRANSMISSION IN THE FIRST DEGREE.
 A  PERSON  IS  GUILTY  OF UNAUTHORIZED RADIO TRANSMISSION IN THE FIRST
 DEGREE WHEN HE OR SHE COMMITS THE CRIME  OF  UNAUTHORIZED  RADIO  TRANS
 MISSION  IN THE SECOND DEGREE PURSUANT TO SECTION 190.72 OF THIS ARTICLE
 AND HAS PREVIOUSLY BEEN CONVICTED WITHIN  THE  PRECEDING  TEN  YEARS  OF
 UNAUTHORIZED  RADIO  TRANSMISSION  IN  THE SECOND DEGREE. ANY EQUIPMENT,
 INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED  TO  THE  TRANSMITTING  ANTENNA,  TRANSMITTER,
 MASTER  CONTROL,  SERVERS  AND  COMPUTERS,  USED TO PROVIDE SUCH ILLEGAL
 RADIO TRANSMISSIONS SHALL BE SUBJECT TO SEIZURE  AND,  UPON  CONVICTION,
 SUBJECT  TO  DESTRUCTION  PURSUANT  TO ARTICLE FOUR HUNDRED SEVENTEEN OF
 THIS CHAPTER.  UNAUTHORIZED RADIO TRANSMISSION IN THE FIRST DEGREE IS A CLASS D
 FELONY.

S 3. The penal law is amended by adding a new article 417 to  read  as
 follows:
 ARTICLE 417
 SEIZURE AND DESTRUCTION OF TRANSMITTING ANTENNA, TRANSMITTER,
 MASTER CONTROL, SERVERS AND COMPUTERS, USED TO PROVIDE ILLEGAL
 RADIO TRANSMISSIONS
 SECTION 417.00 SEIZURE  AND  DESTRUCTION OF TRANSMITTING ANTENNA, TRANS
 MITTER, MASTER CONTROL, SERVERS AND COMPUTERS, USED  TO
 PROVIDE ILLEGAL RADIO TRANSMISSIONS.

S  417.00  SEIZURE AND DESTRUCTION OF TRANSMITTING ANTENNA, TRANSMITTER,
 MASTER CONTROL, SERVERS AND COMPUTERS, USED TO PROVIDE ILLEGAL RADIO TRANSMISSIONS.
 ANY EQUIPMENT UTILIZED IN VIOLATION OF SECTION  190.72  OR  190.73  OF
 THIS  CHAPTER MAY BE SEIZED BY ANY POLICE OFFICER UPON THE ARREST OF ANY
 INDIVIDUAL IN POSSESSION OF THE SAME. UPON FINAL  DETERMINATION  OF  THE
 CHARGES,  THE COURT SHALL, UPON NOTICE FROM THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY, ENTER
 AN  ORDER  PRESERVING  ANY  TRANSMITTING  ANTENNA,  TRANSMITTER,  MASTER
 CONTROL,  SERVERS  AND  COMPUTERS,  USED TO PROVIDE ILLEGAL RADIO TRANS
 MISSIONS FOR USE IN OTHER CASES, INCLUDING A CIVIL ACTION.  THIS  NOTICE
 MUST BE RECEIVED WITHIN THIRTY DAYS OF FINAL DETERMINATION OF THE CHARG
 ES.  THE  COST  OF STORAGE, SECURITY AND DESTRUCTION OF ITEMS SO ORDERED
 FOR PRESERVATION AND USE AS EVIDENCE IN A CIVIL  ACTION,  OTHER  THAN  A
 CIVIL  ACTION  UNDER  ARTICLE  THIRTEEN-A  OF THE CIVIL PRACTICE LAW AND
 RULES INITIATED BY THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY, SHALL BE  PAID  BY  THE  PARTY
 SEEKING  PRESERVATION  OF  THE  EVIDENCE  FOR A CIVIL ACTION. IF NO SUCH
 ORDER IS ENTERED WITHIN THE THIRTY DAY PERIOD, THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY  OR
 CUSTODIAN  OF THE SEIZED PROPERTY MUST CAUSE SUCH ITEMS TO BE DESTROYED.
 DESTRUCTION SHALL NOT INCLUDE AUCTION,  SALE,  OR  DISTRIBUTION  OF  THE
 ITEMS IN THEIR ORIGINAL FORM.

Law takes effect on November 1, 2011.

In order to gain a conviction, some amount of evidence would be needed.  Signal strength measurements and or spectrum analysis would be a minimum requirement, in addition to any equipment seized.

Discuss.

Axiom


A pessimist sees the glass as half empty. An optimist sees the glass as half full. The engineer sees the glass as twice the size it needs to be.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
~1st amendment to the United States Constitution

Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both.
~Benjamin Franklin

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. To be your own man is hard business. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.
~Rudyard Kipling

Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes the freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers
~Universal Declaration Of Human Rights, Article 19

...radio was discovered, and not invented, and that these frequencies and principles were always in existence long before man was aware of them. Therefore, no one owns them. They are there as free as sunlight, which is a higher frequency form of the same energy.
~Alan Weiner

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