Transparency Project

FCC Warrantless Searches

In 2009 EFF sent a FOIA request to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) seeking documents related to the FCC's claimed authority to conduct warrantless searches of private residences in order to inspect radio equipment.

The FCC responded in September 20009. Included in the release are records of about two dozen in-home equipment inspections performed without warrants but with the consent of home owner. The response is broken down into four categories of documents responsive to our numbered request items. The categories are:

1: Materials intended to instruct FCC agents how to obtain consent to search a home or on what constitutes consent.

2: Records that describe the consequences of withholding consent from an FCC agent.

3: Materials regarding any completed warrantless search by the FCC of a home.

4: Documents concerning the FCC's retention or sharing of any information acquired during a warrantless search of a home.

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