Re: Transparent society?: Feds raid hobby vendors

From: Robert Bradbury (
Date: Sun Jan 09 2000 - 07:59:55 MST

On Sat, 8 Jan 2000, Michael M. Butler wrote:

> Harvey Newstrom wrote: [I think]
> >
> >
> > Most ham radio operators don't need to hide miniature transmitters that are
> > disguised as clocks or smoke detectors. And there is a fine line between
> > selling an illegal devices and selling Radio Shack parts and instructions to
> > make an illegal device.

But here we are back with the gun debate again (shudder). There is a
very strong line between possessing a device that has a legitimate
"hobbyist" use (building the kit and testing it is educational) *and*
making *use* of the device in an illegal "wiretapping" operation.
My suspicion is that one of the reasons the "wiretapping" laws
exist is to provide an extension of the right to not incrmininate

That "right" would provide some "fascinating" discussion, since
"rationally", if a person is guilty of a crime, we logically would
want that individual to "punished", whether or not he self-discloses
or there is other-evidence with regard to the crime. It is almost
like we have a constitutional right to be criminals if we can hide
it sufficiently!!!

Now of course the "transparent" society discussion will get fairly
interesting, since "public space" observation would seem to be
another form of "eyewitness account", while "private space"
observation would seem to involve violation of "wiretapping" laws.

But in any case, the kits are kits, not illegal uses and so long as they
aren't violating FCC regulations I think the government is on shakey
ground trying to prevent their sale.


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