“Necessary actions” to be taken against satellite jammers

Member states have been given greater autonomy by the International Telecommunications Union to tackle satellite jamming.

The decision was taken at the World Radio Communications Conference (WRC-12) following a growing campaign from individual broadcasters, the EBU, human rights groups and media freedom campaigners.

The change, adopted by 165 of 193 ITU members, was to article 15.21 of the regulations. It now reads: “If an administration has information of an infringement of the Constitution, the Convention or the Radio Regulations (in particular Article 45 of the Constitution and No. 15.1 of the Radio Regulations) committed by a station under its jurisdiction, the administration shall ascertain the facts and take the necessary actions.”

Welcoming the move, Ingrid Deltenre, director-general of EBU said, “From the EBU’s point of view, this decision taken by so many countries participating in WRC-12 is a first important step in the right direction. Now we expect ITU services to be vigilant and ready to react to deliberate attempts to obstruct the free flow of information.”

A number of broadcasters, including BBC Persian TV, Deutsche Welle and Al Jazeera, have been subject to jamming in recent years.