a non-violent, non-destructive crime you can do
✅ find a really old TV with a UHF dial
✅ attach antenna
✅ browse around UHF channels 80-84
✅ stop when you hear one-to-three-second snippets of people talking
✅ tell a buddy what you heard
Congratulations! You just intercepted and disclosed an electronic communication, 18 U.S. Code § 2511, a felony w/5 years max imprisonment.
@thraeryn I live in a country (UK) with a culture of rehabilitation (not perfect but better than situation in USA) and got two cautions (infractions) for drugs possession when I was younger.
I needed a full enhanced background check to get my current job (tech work in healthcare) so I had to delcare them - but when it came back both had been erased from my record (which is 100% clear) due to time elapsed..
what comms are found on those frequencies? Cordless phones or PMR/public service?
Those frequencies, in the US, were part of a second(? I think?) wave of blocks opened for cellular phone communication. TV wasn't digital yet, but had mostly either gone to cable or stuck down in the VHF range. The FCC had no problem selling off the tippy-top of the UHF range.
@thraeryn this has happened in Europe too - we used to have analogue mobile phones until the late 1990s/early 2000s, I'm surprised if any such services still exist today even in the USA although legacy analogue cordless phones might still be in use.
In Europe you will sometimes hear relays of TV and hiifi sound for some pre-Bluetooth headphones and the occasional intercom/alarm type device around 868 MHz but they are not classed as private comms..
@thraeryn as for "radio crimes" I've been involved with several pirate stations since the 1980s and had very little bother from the authorities - they leave you alone provided you avoid causing harmful interference (and even if you do by accident you often just get a friendly warning).
Today a lot of work in my day job is related to specialised RF kit (DECT phones, pagers and pager transmitters, PMR radios, WIFI) and I learned these positive skills from experiments in my pirate days..
Yeah, an event I attend somewhat regularly runs an FM radio station for five days in Middle of Nowhere, TX each year. They chose a frequency no local station uses, the range is limited, and as far as I'm aware no one ever bothers them about it.
They're breaking the law, and the law is always enforced on a discretionary basis. Anyone COULD face conviction on a given day, if they angered the wrong official.
@thraeryn in European countries you normally need a "short term non commercial events licence" for the radio station but those aren't impossible to get and our countries are far smaller than the USA so much more care must be taken to avoid interference (especially to aviation comms just above Band II FM broadcast)
One of the first Mastodon instances, there is no specific topic we're into, just enjoy your time!