On May 8, Rep. Leonard Lance (R-NJ) and Rep. Paul Tonko (D-NY) formally introduced a bill to Congress designed to thwart and penalize illegal radio operations.
Known as the ‘‘Preventing Illegal Radio Abuse Through Enforcement Act,” the PIRATE Act will increase the ability of the Federal Communications Commission to crack down on pirate activity by increasing fines, streamlining enforcement and placing liability those who facilitate illegal radio broadcasts.
“It is time to take these pirates off the air by hiking the penalties and working with the Federal Communications Commission on enforcement,” Lance said in a statement. Chairman Pai and Commissioner O’Rielly have been able partners in making sure these broadcasts are stopped. This bill will give the FCC even more tools to take down these illegal broadcasts.”
As a commissioner who has long been searching for more Congressional authority to address pirate radio operations, FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly commended the effort after the news was announced.
“This bill rightfully increases the penalties, requires regular enforcement sweeps, and augments the tools available to the commission, which are woefully inadequate and outdated, to deal with illegal pirate broadcasters,” O’Rielly said in a statement.