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Getting Homophobes Out of the Ether in France

17/04/2022

Should we give the means of free communication to Nazis, racists, and homophobes?  Well, it is a discussion that has been going on long before the advent of the internet, with its wild west morality and apparent toleration of just about every view no matter how extremist.  But many people  also argue that free speech is meaningless in the hands of people whose only motivation is bullying and encouraging hatred against others.  This week, Amateur Radio News, a programme aired on the German shortwave station at 3975 kHz reports that a French radio amateur – a perfectly legal user of the amateur part of the shortwave spectrum – has been prosecuted and given a two year suspended sentence for, amongst other things, ranting homophobia through his radio equipment.  The man, identified only as Gerard, also made death threats against other users of the radio spectrum and encouraged acts of violence.  In the wake of terrorist acts in France over recent years, the authorities acted swiftly and deleted the man’s broadcast license and removed his transmission equipment.  Radio Amateurs are legal broadcast stations similar to CB radio operators, only on the shortwave spectrum.  They are not allowed to broadcast politics or music and just exchange calls, weather reports, technical information and general chit chat with other operators round the globe.   

France
Radio Amateurs
broadcasting
Communications
homophobia
Terrorism

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