Enforcement Action Database Update

As part of a long-standing effort to get the legacy-projects of the site up to speed before delving into the dissertation, I’ve compiled the “final” statistics for the FCC’s enforcement actions in 2008 and brought the Enforcement Action Database up to-date for this year.
ead09statesUnfortunately, the agency just missed hitting the 400 mark with enforcement actions last year – though due to the various methods by which the Enforcement Bureau inflates its enforcement statistics, it’s safe to say that most likely fewer than 200 stations were actually “dimed” by the agency in some way last year.
2009 appears to have gotten off to a similarly inauspicious start: so far there have been 174 enforcement actions against unlicensed stations in 14 states; though with statistics-inflation in full effect the number of actual “pirates” tangibly affected is much lower.
As for the exercising of actual muscle, it’s nearly non-existent: one $10K fine was issued this March from a case first opened in 2006; two stations in Florida have been raided and three people arrested (these were conducted at the behest of local authorities – one “promoted gangs” and the other called itself “One Love Radio,” so damn yr stereotypes); and of all the enforcement actions logged so far in 2009, only two originate from alleged complaints of interference.
This is not to say that the FCC can’t get feisty at times, although it’s very selective about when and how. For example, EB field agents unleashed a tizzy when they visited Boulder Free Radio recently and left behind a note claiming that they don’t need a warrant to search the premises (a dubious claim debunked nine years ago). At the same time, the widespread abuse of amateur radio frequencies by on-duty Indianapolis police officers passed by with little more than a slap on the wrist earlier this year.
As I’ve said before, so long as there’s more of us than them, we’re winning.