28 July 2006 | njmm
Historical note: Playboy satellite jamming case
On Labor Day weekend 1987, the satellite uplink carrying the Playboy Channel showing of the soft core version of this film was jammed and the video replaced with text of a biblical quote.
Within a week, FCC investigators suspected that the signal came from the Virginia Beach, VA facility of Pat Robertson's Christian Broadcasting Network. At the time, Robertson was running for the Republican presidential nomination and the Justice Department assigned a low priority to prosecuting the case -- even though it had asked Congress to make satellite jamming a felony a year earlier.
The operator on duty, Thomas Haney, denied any involvement and CBN management supported his claim. His was convicted of a federal felony for the jamming after a 1 week trial. He received a fine and suspended sentence as the crime occurred prior to the new federal sentencing guidelines which now permit jail time for nonviolent crimes.
After the trial, one of the FCC investigators said, "The nuns were wrong, I didn't go blind!"