A trivial postscript to the saga of Knoxville’s First Amendment Radio, whose demise in 2004 was attributed in large part to David Icove: ultra-cop, righteous ham, and, apparently, mad scientist. In the months leading up to the bust, a team (of which Icove was a part) received a patent on a “parallel data processing architecture” designed to make DNA database searches fast and easy.
In a biometric–heavy War on Terror™, there’s obvious potential in such proprietary knowledge.
The big day came and went Tuesday, much rhetoric was bandied about and even Mikey Powell said nice things about community radio (all of the other Commissioners, except Jonathan Adelstein, made appearances). The proceedings were webcast and the archive can be watched here (Real Player required).
Two panels were held: the first was basically made up of representatives of LPFM stations around the country who talked up the good work they do and diplomatically chastised the FCC for not expanding the service out to its full potential. Continue reading “LPFM Day Reviewed; KFAR Packs It In?”
When Congress initially eviscerated the FCC’s LPFM service four years ago, I was living in Madison, Wisconsin. There, with the stroke of President Clinton’s pen, the number of open frequencies available for new LPFM stations went from something like 16 to three.
Of the applicants to tender requests for an LPFM license in Madison: one individual applied for one open frequency; a church applied for another; and seven groups applied for the third channel.
The FCC has finally granted construction permits to those entities eligible to go on the air. However, as the seven groups essentially came to a draw in the FCC’s “points system” for determining the winner in competitive situations like theirs, the license will be divided up between each group. Continue reading “LPFM: The Mess in Madison; Further Footnotes to FRSC Raid”
This excerpt from FRSC’s “response to our supporters“:
The outpouring of support, donations, equipment and kind words has been overwhelming, but each e-mail, each letter, and each phone message from you, our listeners, is what keeps us going through these dark times. Please, keep it up!….
Perhaps the most important thing you can do is spread the word about this repression of dissent, and loss of free speech. Tell everyone you know; family, friends, lovers, teachers, doctors, politicians, etc… Write letters to the editor of your daily or weekly paper, call radio and cable access talk shows, spread the news on internet chat rooms, and listserves. Continue reading “Freak Radio Update: Mobilization for Microradio?”
Colorado: Denver Free Radio was busted this morning after a scant three days on the air. That’s a pretty quick turnaround for the FCC, although it certainly helps that there’s a field office right in town so they didn’t have to go very far to pay the station a visit.
The agents reportedly arrived in “a green SUV with a big white dome on it” and observers also noticed other trucks in the area bristling with antennas; it’s not clear whether this was legitimate backup or local broadcast engineers/amateur radio ops out for a joyride.
Apparently Denver Free Radio operates on a model similar to Boulder Free Radio (KBFR) in that it is “locationally-flexible” – this means there’s a decent chance of the station making a return. The FCC folks did ask those hosting DFR’s gear to willingly give it up; that request was (fortunately) denied. As a result FCC agents have reportedly staked out the transmitter location, ostensibly in an an attempt to pin a person down to the operation who can be punished. Continue reading “Scene Reports: Colorado, California, Tennessee”
KFAR got hit by a team of FCC agents and three Federal Marshals at around 10 AM local time Wednesday. A news release from the station says the raid force “broke into” the trailer housing the station (with the help of a locksmith) and confiscated everything; this implies that the station was unmanned and automated at the time.
FCC paperwork left behind does not name any particular individual, so for the moment it would seem that KFAR’s most valuable asset – its volunteers – survive to fight another day. The local media also responded to the scene and several articles are already online, with coverage ranging from neutral to positive. Free Radio Santa Cruz’s Skidmark Bob got reaction from a couple of KFAR DJs. At least one station volunteer also videotaped the action. Continue reading “FCC Raid on Knoxville First Amendment Radio”
Knoxville’s First Amendment Radio reports the break-in happened two weeks ago. The station broadcasts from a trailer (ex-crackhaus) and have put a lot of work into the place. The thieves basically made off with stuff that was not bolted down: a computer, monitor, printer, small television, two CD/MP3 players, microphone and headphones, and assorted cabling. Nothing in the transmission chain was touched.
This thread on the station’s message board hints that there may have been witnesses (including a phone company worker who inadvertently loaned the burglars some wire cutters), yet it remains to be seen just how hard a police force will work on a case involving a pirate station as victim.
Reports from someone with Knoxville’s First Amendment Radio brings updated info on its situation: the “nastygram” was found around noon Thursday. Then for about an hour station volunteers played hide-and-seek with agents Eric Rice and Rickey Davis from the Atlanta District Field Office (photos available at the station’s web site). KFAR shut down and the agents went away.
First Amendment Radio stayed silent until 4pm Saturday when broadcasts resumed with a skeleton operation its volunteers are willing to risk if the FCC moves in the direction of a raid.
KFAR’s had at least one contact with the FCC prior to this one. The station recently filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the agency (objective unknown) and as of now is asking listeners to call, e-mail or write the agents in Atlanta asking them to cool it. Continue reading “KFAR/Oklahoma City FCC Update”
KFAR in Knoxville, Tennessee reports FCC agents left a “nastygram” at their broadcast trailer digs Thursday afternoon; the station left the air shortly afterward to consider its next move. At present KFAR’s web radio stream is still up and running.
There have also been unconfirmed reports of a microbroadcaster in Oklahoma City having contact with the FCC earlier in the week; this station reportedly broadcast nearly 24/7 and accepted listener phone calls. This one can’t go into the Database unless more concrete info surfaces.