Serial CB radio pest receives unprecedented sentence | ACMA

Serial CB radio pest receives unprecedented sentence


An Adelaide man has been sentenced to nine months’ imprisonment today in the Adelaide District Court for unlawfully operating and possessing radiocommunications devices. The sentence has been suspended in favour of a two year good behaviour bond; all equipment used in the commission of the offence has been forfeited to the Commonwealth by order of the Court.

The conviction is the harshest penalty yet handed down for such an offence.

It follows an investigation by the Australian Communications and Media Authority into allegations of abuse and harassment by Mr John Alexander Kiss while operating on the Citizen Band Radio Service (CBRS) in the Adelaide area.

Mr Kiss pleaded guilty in February 2015 to one count of unlicensed operation and two counts of unlawful possession of radiocommunications devices under sections 46 and 47 of the Radiocommunications Act 1992.

‘This is an important outcome for the CBRS community, the vast majority of whom use the CBRS in a responsible and appropriate fashion,’ said ACMA Chairman, Chris Chapman.

‘The CBRS is there to benefit all Australians. It is not a platform for individuals to target and abuse other legitimate users. While we recognise that CB users’ behaviour can vary, Mr Kiss’s contraventions were so severe that regulatory intervention was needed,’ Mr Chapman added.

Information about how to report the unlicensed operation or unlawful possession of a radiocommunications device is available here.

The matter was successfully prosecuted by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions.

For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact: Emma Rossi, Media Manager, (02) 9334 7719, 0434 652 063 or

Media release 41/2015 - 3 September


The ACMA’s investigation into Mr John Alexander Kiss commenced after numerous complaints were received alleging that users of the CBRS in the Adelaide area had been threatened and harassed. The nature of these complaints were serious.

The CBRS is a two-way, short distance, communications service that can be used by any person in Australia, whether it is for recreational or domestic purposes, or in connection with work or business. This service is commonly known as CB radio.

A person operating a CB station must not:

  • operate the station in a way that would be likely to cause a reasonable person to be seriously alarmed or seriously affronted; or
  • operate the station for the purpose of harassing a person.

The operation of CB radios is authorised under the Radiocommunications (Citizen Band Radio Stations) Class Licence 2002.

Following its investigation, the ACMA compiled evidence in relation to these allegations and referred the matter to the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions (CDPP). The CDPP subsequently charged Mr Kiss with the following offences:

  • operation of a radiocommunications device otherwise than as authorised by a licence;
  • possession of radiocommunications devices, for the purpose of operation, otherwise than as authorised by a licence; and
  • reckless conduct resulting in substantial disruption and disturbance of radiocommunications.

The Adelaide Magistrates Court will hear a separate charge under section 197 of the Act relating to reckless conduct resulting in substantial interference to radiocommunications. This matter is ongoing.

Last updated: 03 September 2015