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Can the FCC Enter Your Home?

Yea, pretty much, or so goes the argument, explored by Wired

“You may not know it, but if you have a wireless router, a cordless phone, remote car-door opener, baby monitor or cellphone in your house, the FCC claims the right to enter your home without a warrant at any time of the day or night in order to inspect it.”

That’s the provocative lead of an article in Wired, which explores the FCC’s views of a warrantless search power based on the Communications Act of 1934, “though the constitutionality of the claim has gone untested in the courts,” it reports.

Wired quotes spokesman David Fiske saying, “Anything using RF energy — we have the right to inspect it to make sure it is not causing interference,” says FCC spokesman David Fiske. That includes devices like Wi-Fi routers that use unlicensed spectrum.

But the article quotes one legal observer saying “the idea they could just go in is honestly quite bizarre.”

As interesting as that discussion is, the writer then turns into territory more familiar to RW readers, the agency’s method of enforcement against broadcast “pirates.” It also notes that one, Boulder Free Radio, has developed a strategy of simply moving its transmitter after an FCC agent leaves a notice on a given door.

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