Is speech over amateur radio constitutionally protected? Could I theoretically sue the FCC for the right to broadcast music on 20 meters, and have a chance of winning on free speech grounds? If the FCC made a rule, at the direction of Congress, prohibiting political speech over amateur radio, would that be enforceable?

  • 1
    "Free speech" does not mean the unlimited right to say what you like, where you like, and how you like. It is the right to speak without fear of oppression by government (subject to decency laws etc.). However, political speech is discouraged over amateur radio anyway. Mar 25 at 22:41
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    @WeatherVane I see this response to First Amendment questions so often, but I never understand what the point is supposed to be. If people thought free speech meant "the unlimited right to say what you like, where you like, and how you like," they wouldn't ask questions asking what is and isn't protected speech.
    – bdb484
    Mar 26 at 23:53
  • I can say what I like, but not on public broadcast TV, as the TV station may decide to boot me off the air, because it is their frequency spectrum with their rules. I imagine it is a similar case for amateur radio. Note there may be other parts of the radio spectrum (CB, probably? whatever kids' walkie-talkies use?) where you can say literally whatever you want
    – user253751
    Mar 28 at 13:35
  • some countries arrest people for holding "stop killing the planet" signs in the middle of the road where they inconvenience planet-killing cars, but not for holding them on the sidewalk where they only inconvenience non-planet-killing bikes
    – user253751
    Mar 28 at 13:36
  • @user253751 IDK about the FRS and ISM bands that kids' walkie talkies use, but on CB and ham radio, it's illegal to transmit anything obscene or indecent. On CB radio, people do transmit whatever they want, but they're not supposed to. It's less of an issue with ham radio. It isn't equivalent to the broadcast station, because with ham radio, it is your station. The FCC regulates what you can say, but there is generally not a station owner limiting you.
    – Someone
    Mar 28 at 15:02


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