Deliberate Interference Protocol

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Interference is a fact of life for Amateur Radio operation, whether its caused by natural phenomena, other amateur operations, foreign broadcast station operations, spurious emissions from nearby equipment, or the intentional behavior of someone emitting RF for the express purpose of disrupting communications.

While all interference is unwelcome, and more or less disruptive, not all interference is harmful in the sense that it prevents effective communications.  For purposes of this protocol, Harmful interference is that which precludes, or significantly disrupts effective communication.

Deliberate interference is that man made interference specifically engaged in by the offender for its ability to disrupt effective communication.

The purpose of this Radio Interference Protocol is to establish a process whereby ECARS Net Control Operators can report Harmful and Deliberate interference to ECARS operations.  It does not apply to foreign broadcasts, inadvertant interference, partially overlapping SSB operations, or other short term and normal interference experienced on the amateur bands.  It can be difficult sometimes to establish that interference is deliberate.  The Net Control Operator must use his experience and judgement in making that determination.

Interference Protocol:
Our first objective, in dealing with deliberate and harmful interference, is to avoid providing positive reinforcement to the offender.
  1.  Do not talk to the offender
  2.  Do not make on-air remarks about the offender
  3.  Ignore the interference, no matter how bad it is. 
  4.  Resume and continue Net Control. 

Our second objective, in dealing with deliberate and harmful interference, is to report it to proper authorities in real time. 
  a.  Chuck Skolaut of the ARRL should be notified.

  b.  Laura Smith of the FCC should be notified.
  c.  The ECARS President, Vice President, Net Manager and Vic Klein should be notified.

A suggested means to provide the notification without impacting the Net Control Operator's operation of the ECARS net, is to prepare a draft email and save it in the 'Drafts' folder of your email program.  In the event it becomes necessary to notify authorities of deliberate and harmful interference, you could simply open the drafts folder, click on the email, and click send.  The  image below is a suggested format for reporting deliberate interference.  Note that the ARRL POC and the FCC POC email addresses are available from the ECARS Net Manager but are not posted on the ECARS Website to prevent false or spoofing reports to the Enforcement organizations.

Our third objective, is to document the interference.  This is something that may be too difficult for the active NCS to perform.  However, many of us have loggers, such as HRD, that can record the audio from our rigs.  If ECARS members can capture recordings of the deliberate interference, it is requested that they send copies to  The Net Manager will collect this evidence and make it available to the ARRL and FCC if they successfully locate the offender.

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Please keep in mind:
- The act of notifying ARRL and FCC authorities should only be taken if the deliberate interference has been harmful and protracted, such as over serveral sessions or for several days. 
An isolated instance cannot be located by the FCC.  There has to be an expectation of continued and repeating acts to allow the FCC to isolate the offender.

- the language used by the interfering station, language often called "obscene" or "dirty" is irrelevant to the FCC.  Obscenity is almost impossible to define and/or prove.  It does not matter what you or I think about it.

- what is important is that the frequency was already in use, that the interference prohibited communication, that the interfering stations failed to identify in accordance with FCC regulations.  These things carry weight with the FCC.

NOTE: Comments or suggestions about this web page should be directed to the Net Manager.

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