compliance news
FCC Implements New Penalties Under PIRATE Act
The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) can now penalize those parties that allow illegal radio broadcasting activities on their property.

According to the terms of an Order, the Commission is now authorized to propose fines of up to $2 million to property owners and managers that house so-called pirate radio broadcasts on their premises or who knowingly facilitate their operation. This authority falls under the scope of the recently enacted Preventing Illegal Radio Abuse Through Enforcement (PIRATE) Act.

Under this expanded authority, the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau will first provide written notice to owners and managers that illegal broadcasts are believed to be originating from their properties, thereby giving them the opportunity to remedy the problem. Depending on the response, the Commission has the discretion to take further actions, including levying financial penalties of up to $100,000 per day with a maximum penalty of $2 million.

In its Order, the Commission notes that this expanded enforcement authority is not an exercise of “administrative discretion” and therefore does not require a notice and public process to take place.

Material Found to
Block Electromagnetic Waves
Researchers at Drexel University’s Nanomaterials Institute have demonstrated that a class of thin, two-dimensional material has the potential to block electromagnetic radiation (EM), potentially laying the groundwork for a new generation of shielding materials.

According to a paper published in the scientific journal Carbon, the researchers found that one particular MXene, titanium carbonitride, provides an excellent shield against EM radiation. They determined that MXene not only blocks EM radiation but absorbs EM signals rather than merely reflecting them back. In their testing, samples of cotton and linen dipped into a MXene solution including titanium carbonitride blocked more than 99.9% of EM signals.

The Drexel University researchers also found that the MXene produces a durable coating that doesn’t require chemical additives or other pre-treatment or post-treatment processing. Further, MXene-treated materials lose only small amounts of their shielding effectiveness over time.

EU Pushes for “Right to Repair”
for Products
As part of the widespread effort to boost environmental sustainability efforts in the European Union (EU), the EU Parliament has passed a resolution calling on the EU Commission to grant consumers a “right to repair” a variety of products, including electrical and electronic devices.

The EU Parliament suggests a number of methods that manufacturers could adopt to extend the life of their products. The suggestions include extending product guarantee periods, offering guarantees for replacement parts, and giving consumers easier access to information on maintenance and repair options.

The Parliament also calls on the Commission to implement regulatory provisions that would support more sustainable production methods by product manufacturers, and a greater emphasis on reducing practices that shorten the effective life of a given product. The Parliament also recommends increased support for the deployment of more robust second-hand markets for used products.

FCC Denies Huawei’s Appeal
The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has denied an appeal from Huawei Technologies to reconsider its designation of the company as posing a national security threat to the safety of the U.S. communications network.

In a Memorandum Opinion and Order, the Commission defends its June 2020 action to officially ban the use of monies from the Commission’s Universal Service Fund to purchase equipment or services from Huawei and other companies posing a threat to national security, noting the “overwhelming evidence of Huawei’s close ties to the Chinese Communist Party and China’s military and intelligence apparatus.”

According to the FCC, “the Commission’s review of the record found that Huawei is susceptible to Chinese government pressure to participate in espionage activities and that Huawei’s close ties to the Chinese military present significant risk.” The Commission also cites bans by other countries against the use of Huawei equipment as evidence of the potential threat.

According to the FCC, “the Commission’s review of the record found that Huawei is susceptible to Chinese government pressure to participate in espionage activities and that Huawei’s close ties to the Chinese military present significant risk.”
Huawei filed an Application for Review in late July, challenging the FCC’s June Designation Order and arguing that the Commission lacked the authority to do so and that the Commission’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau violated provisions of the Administrative Procedures Act in making its decision. However, in its Memorandum and Order, the Commission concludes that its decision to ban Huawei was based on a thorough assessment of the threat potential and that it acted within the full scope of its authority.
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