PIRATE Act signed into law by President

Photo by David Everett Strickler on Unsplash

(Source: The White House)

On Friday, January 24, 2020, the President signed into law:

H.R. 583, the “Preventing Illegal Radio Abuse Through Enforcement Act” or the “PIRATE Act,” which authorizes enhanced penalties for pirate radio broadcasters and requires the Federal Communications Commission to increase enforcement activities; and

H.R. 2476, the “Securing American Nonprofit Organizations Against Terrorism Act of 2019,” which authorizes within the Department of Homeland Security a Nonprofit Security Grant Program to make grants to eligible nonprofit organizations for target hardening and other security enhancements to protect against terrorist attacks.

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8 thoughts on “PIRATE Act signed into law by President

  1. Julio Cesar Pereira

    Well, here in Brasil, pirate stations are being supported by religious organizations. They generate spurious that interfere with aeronautics communication (VHF on AM mode). The programming of Brazilian shortwave pirate stations add up to nothing. They play the same type of music you already listen to on conventional stations. And not happy with almost no audience on alternative frequencies, now they are invading broadcast bands seeking any audience at all. When confronted, the people who run these stations are aggressive, they treat ham operators and Communicactions authorities as enemies. They act so cowardly that they don’t have the guts to assume they run a pirate station. Instead, they call it “free station”. Here in Brazil, anyone can apply for a Community FM station, and if granted the licence, they cannot profit from it. But, lots of these communit FM stations do not respect this and are funded by politicians and religious organizations. I hope the reality in the US is different. Here, I never report tuning a Brazilian pirate station. Now, sincerely, the great majority of people in Brazil listen to streaming services such as Tune In if they want to listen to a station, whether it is Broadcast or web radio. I have a friend who runs an online station very much like a broadcast station. At night, when he is live, he uses equipment very similar of those used in a studio of any broadcast radio stations, including an audio processor. He has both domestic and international audience. It is specialized on progressive rock.

  2. Edward

    How about applying the FCC regs. to internet spammers and virus writers. They can start by requiring webmasters to be licensed to host a domain name and follow best practices in scanning/blocking viruses and spam. Far bigger problem than pirate radio

  3. Blues Dude

    Sarcasm Alert: Hopefully millions of dollars will be allocated for new radio direction finder vans and Sonic Troopers so the FCC can track down and capture all those mini-watt station owners who broadcast news, music, etc. in the languages of their target communities.
    While I support laws against pirate hams on SW, VHF, UHF, etc., I think the FCC is wrong with this act.
    The pirates in big cities like NYC provide a service to their communities.
    The big commercial stations, which support the act, completely ignore these communities.
    Instead of pandering to these big businesses, the FCC should have worked with the pirates to move their stations to other non-interfering frequencies. The FCC should have tried to legalize the pirates, for the benefit of the communities.
    The airwaves are for everyone. The FCC forgot that.

  4. Joseph Rotello

    We also need to locate a “detailed outline” of all aspects, changes, rules regarding the Pirate Act and present a capsule review via our broadcasters / podcasters / videocasters / LP Broadcasters.

    Not to “over kill” coverage of what was signed into law, but to get a grasp as to what, where, how of this new, or added-to existing law and rules….and especially accomplished in a simplified yet still informative manner.

  5. Jerry V Di Trolio

    I agree with President Trump signing,The Shortwave Pirate Act,I just hope the good guys don’t get swept up with bad guys,who trasmit illegally on Shortwave,because of there politics!

    1. Adam Ebel

      Great! The whole United States has turned into Europe with this OfCom type of law. It’s for the corporations so they can sign on more translators and get away with more intermodulation on the AM and FM bands.

    2. R. Blavatsky International

      The President did not sign any bill called the Shortwave Pirate Act. The bill he did sign does not cover HF stations of any type. It explicitly addresses only unlicensed operations 535-1705 kHz or 87.7-108 MHz.

      1. KPC

        “It explicitly addresses only unlicensed operations 535-1705 kHz or 87.7-108 MHz”

        Will this lead to a concentration of pirates using 87.5MHz FM and 530kHz AM, as these would be outside the above range and not covered by this new act?

        All radio receivers with AM can tune to 530, and a high percentage of radios in the USA to 87.5FM – though some may need to be put into an International or European mode to do so? 87.5 would be useable to areas with no ‘VHF Channel 6’ TV signals which nowadays is most of the USA.

        Some may even by tempted to try 108.1 MHz, which is covered by a high percentage of dial-tuned receivers, though use, even with low power, of that frequency is dubious.


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