FCC Sues Unlicensed Station to Collect Fine

This is unusual: the Federal Communications Commission has instigated a civil lawsuit in the Western District Court of Texas against Walter Olenick and M. Rae Nadler-Olenick, the proprietors of “Texas Liberty Radio,” which until late last year occupied 90.1 FM in Austin, Texas.

The facts are fairly clear: sometime in 2013, the FCC received a complaint about Texas Liberty Radio’s existence. That August, field agents from Houston traveled to Austin and found the station, measured its power, and confirmed it did not have a license. The recently-filed court documents contain some hand-written notes from field agents about the station, including the possible apartment it was broadcasting from, license plate numbers of cars in the parking lot, and notes on the station’s programming, which field agents noted included stuff from “Alex Jones” and “infowars.” Read More

Anti-Pirate Activity Rebounds from 2015 Nadir

FCC Anti-pirate Enforcement Actions in 2016 by stateThough not by much, and certainly not along the lines of what we saw at the beginning of this decade. August was a busy month for FCC field agents, who conducted nearly three dozen enforcement actions against fewer than half as many stations. The state-leader this year so far is Florida – while New York still leads the all-time pack enforcement action-wise – and the FCC’s flexed its muscle in only seven states, compared to 10 in 2015.

Some of the cases are fairly curious, such as a $15,000 Notice of Apparent Liability issued against a Florida man who first started broadcasting without a license way back in 2013. One visit that year, followed by four visits last year (and a change in frequency), finally compelled the FCC to bring the threat of a fiscal penalty to bear.

Then there’s the case of an Alabama man who first hit the FCC’s radar in 2015; after being warned he voluntarily surrendered his transmitter via mail, only to get a new one and move to a new channel. When contacted again by the federales, he expressed the wish that he could be legal but no application windows for LPFMs are in the works, so his “hands were tied.” Not a good enough excuse to avoid a $15,000 NAL…but then again, it remains to be seen whether the FCC will formalize these as actual forfeitures, much less be able to collect on them. Read More

Itching for a Fight

Rumors of the demise of United Patriot Radio have proven to be false; whether or not this is a good thing, only time will tell.

United Patriot Radio is a shortwave pirate broadcasting from somewhere in Pulaski County, Kentucky. Run by a self-described militiaman named Steve Anderson (no relation), UPR originally came to life as Kentucky State Militia Radio (KSMR) in March, 2000, relaying militia-related news and advocating resistance to further encroachment by the Federal government on the lives of America’s citizenry.

Broadcasting on the upper sideband of 3260 kHz with a handful of watts and a homemade antenna, KSMR caused a small stir in the shortwave pirate community: never before had a clandestine station targeting the United States government actually broadcast from within its own borders.

But, as more and more people tuned in KSMR, more and more began not to like what they heard. Read More

Infighting Kills Militia Pirate

It looks like a controversial shortwave militia pirate station is off the air now, possibly for good.

Kentucky State Militia Radio, or KSMR, began broadcasting a couple of months ago from a location in Kentucky. Major Steve Anderson was behind the mic, and he used the station to disseminate contact information for militia groups around the United States. However, the operation of the station was not sanctioned by Anderson’s parent organization, the Kentucky State Militia.

When the Militia’s commander found out about Anderson’s broadcasts – and the pending confrontation it would cause with federal authorities – he ordered Anderson to cease operations.

Anderson complied for a few days, then returned the station to the air under the name “United Patriot Radio.” Anderson claimed the station had no ties to the Kentucky State Militia anymore, and that he’d recruited help from other groups around the country to keep the station running. Read More

KSMR Reborn

On the shortwave front, a militia man in Kentucky that made history in March is back on the air under a different name.

Major Steve Anderson, a member of the Kentucky State Militia, first fired up Kentucky State Militia Radio on March first. KSMR became the first clandestine shortwave broadcaster ever to target the United States from within the country itself – stations of this type traditionally broadcast outside of the country they’re trying to propagandize.

Touting the station as an expression of the First Amendment “protected by the Second Amendment,” KSMR made several broadcasts for about three weeks, passing along militia contact information and warning the FCC to stay away. Read More