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Tonko gets his pirate radio bill through Senate

Jan 30, 2020 12:33 am
The Saratogian reports that Rep. Paul Tonko got his bill putting enormous fines on pirate radio operators passed in the U.S. Senate. Tonko hauled out a false trope about how pirate radio operators would bring down airplanes in his announcement about the bill. “Air traffic controllers depend on these broadcasting systems to do their jobs, sometimes during life-and-death situations," he said. While that is true, air traffic controllers do not use frequencies anywhere near the FM dial, so there is little chance they could ever interfere with air navigation. The Preventing Illegal Radio Abuse Through Enforcement Act would levy up to $2 million in fines for illegal broadcasting. But the Federal Communications Commission is not likely to bring many of those fines in, as they have been cutting the budget for the enforcement bureau often in recent years. Tonko and Rep. Antonio Delgado both voted for the bill last year. Read more about this story in The Saratogian.