Speaking of regulators - a question.

Robert Stratton bob at stratton.net
Mon Aug 9 20:43:06 CDT 2010

On Aug 9, 2010, at 9:09 PM, Robert E. Seastrom wrote:

> Personally I was in favor of "anything goes".  There is ample hate to
> go around for domestic RF policy.  Bush and the BPL fiasco vs. Obama
> and LORAN - which do we hate more?  Rant about Republicans, Democrats,
> Independents...  sadly, I think we have the government we deserve...

Speaking of the regulators... I'm waiting to see the fallout from the  
DEFCON presentation about GSM spoofing. It turns out that the FCC and  
DHS called before the talk was due to go on. I spoke with an attorney  
who was looking into it on the speaker's behalf. I think the speaker  
found a fascinating grey area in the regs. Chris Paget, a ham, had a  
transmitter at 900 MHz where amateur radio has an allocation. It was  
low power (something like 25 mW) and didn't reach outside the room,  
but was in a band where a quad-band GSM handset in the room would see  
a European GSM cell and attempt to register itself. He ID'ed his  
transmissions, so it seems he was within the letter of Part 97 for at  
least his transmitter.

So here's the question that came up for me: If your licensed amateur  
transmitter triggers someone else's type-accepted (in this country,  
but not for use on that band) transmitter to send a signal, is that  
"interference?" If it were, who would be liable? The base station  
operator, the handset owner, or the carrier who sold the handset for  
use on other bands in the U.S.? What part would even apply? Is there a  
carve out for mobile handsets that inadvertently transmit on "world  
bands" when they're over here?

--Bob S.

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