The Mumbai Mirror in India reports that a complaint by radio amateurs has prompted the Telecommunications Ministry to order online purveyors, including eBay and Amazon, to stop selling wireless transmitting equipment. According to the newspaper, a group of hams wrote the Wireless Advisor in the Telecommunications Ministry last fall to warn that online sales of wireless equipment could pose a national security threat.
Their warning followed reports of “highly suspicious” 2-meter transmissions along the Bengal-Bangladesh border. Their letter drew the attention of the Intelligence Bureau, the prime minister’s office, and the military.
The Telecommunications Ministry now has ordered e-commerce websites to stop selling transmitting gear online, effective immediately. The law in India requires that those selling such equipment have a dealer’s possession license and users have a license to transmit.
Ankur Puranik, VU2AXN, spokesperson of the Mumbai Amateur Radio Society, told the newspaper, “…our concern is that the powerful equipment can fall into wrong hands and be misused. More importantly, these two-way radios can tune into any frequency including confidential frequencies used by law enforcement agencies. They can be misused to listen to confidential wireless conversations.”
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