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News | 06/18/2002 4:00 am EDT
Illegal satellite descrambling cards cause interference to public safety radiocommunications
The radio communications networks of law enforcement agencies and emergency response organizations are being interfered with by certain devices used to provide unauthorized access to direct-to-home (DTH) satellite TV signals, Industry Canada has determined. The department began an investigation into the interference issues after receiving several complaints from public safety organizations in Canada. It concluded that illegal AVR cards, used to bypass DTH companies' conditional access systems, were causing the interference and subsequently made a Determination of Interference. DTH operators use conditional access systems to protect their transmissions from unauthorized reception.
"These analyses have demonstrated that certain devices used to defeat conditional access systems of DTH broadcast satellite receivers, when used in conjunction with such receivers, cause the emission of radio frequency signals of sufficient strength that interference is caused or is likely to be caused to radiocommunication, including that used for law enforcement and search and rescue," notes Notice No. DGRB-002-02.
Industry Canada will now send out notices to persons or companies that make
these illegal devices available. Failure to comply with the notice can mean serious fines and/or jail time for offenders. Individuals can be fined up to $5,000 and/or be sentenced to one year in jail, and corporations can receive a $25,000 fine. The Radiocommunication Act also allows for a person to be convicted for a separate offence for each day on which the offence is committed or continued. More details.

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