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Podcast #34 – How the Telecom Act of ’96 Triggered Popular Resistance

This is our second episode examining the history and legacy of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 in recognition of the law’s 20th anniversary. This time around Prof. John Anderson from Brooklyn College explains how Reagan-era deregulation, culminating in the Telecom Act, triggered civil disobedience on the airwaves along with citizen action that continues to push […]

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Pirate Radio

FCC Enforcement Against Pirate Radio Lowest Since 2005

FCC actions against unlicensed broadcasters hit their lowest point since 2005 last year. That’s according to John Anderson at He’s been tracking enforcement actions against pirate radio since 1997. FCC Actions include station visits by Enforcement Bureau field agents, as well as more mundane things, like Notices of Unauthorized Operation, which are essentially letters […]

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Rika FM

FCC and Federal Marshals Seized Pirate Radio Stations in New York City

On Monday the FCC announced [PDF] the unsealing of two complaints against unlicensed broadcasters operating in the New York City borough of The Bronx. The Commission and US Attorney’s Office also said that “on April 2, 2014, FCC agents and Deputy U.S. Marshals, pursuant to warrants, seized the radio transmission and production equipment identified in […]

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Halloween is a pirate radio holiday

As the Shortwave Listening Post reminds us, Halloween is a peak broadcast day for unlicensed shortwave pirates. For folks with a shortwave radio, SWLing blogger Thomas instructs, “Turn on your radio anytime today, but especially around twilight and tune between 6,920 – 6,980 kHz. Pirates broadcast on both AM and SSB; you’re bound to hear […]

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Independent journalists broadcast clandestine radio stations inside Syria

Last week I asked what outside and independent news and information sources are available inside Syria. In particular, I wondered what radio outlets are available. Tom Fudge, news director of KPBS, provides an answer to my question in a story aired last Thursday. He talked with a handful of independent Syrian journalists who visited San […]

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Pirate radio round-up: FL operator dies mounting antenna, infamous UK pirate interviews regulator

Here’s what’s been going on in the world of pirate and unlicensed broadcasting. A Radio Survivor reader tipped us off to this story about a pirate radio operator in the hotbed of South Florida who died installing his antenna. The aerial accidentally hit a power line and he was electrocuted. His death is certainly unfortunate, […]

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Pirate radio round-up: feeds NM station; FCC picks low-hanging fruit in Miami and Oregon

Maybe it’s because spring is in the air in North America, but pirate radio is bubbling up a bit in the popular consciousness, as well as the FCC’s. Seems like a good time for a pirate radio news round up. Albuquerque’s Alibi hazily reports on “at least one station operating without a license” in Northern […]

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Mbanna Kantako

A quarter century on, micropower pioneer Mbanna Kantako still broadcasts to Illinois capital

An uncompromising voice for human rights, unafraid to make unrestrained and harsh criticisms of local and federal officials, is still heard on the airwaves of Illinois capital city. Despite multiple letters and visits from the FCC over the years, the Springfield, Illinois unlicensed station Human Rights Radio celebrated its 25th anniversary last fall. This week […]

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