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Who Handles Indecency Complaints

The FCC devotes considerable staff resources to processing, reviewing and investigating allegations of obscenity, indecency and/or profanity. Most of the staffers who work on these issues are located in theConsumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau (CGB) and the Enforcement Bureau (EB). CGB's Consumer Inquiries & Complaints Division, Information Access and Privacy Office, and Reference Information Center intake complaints and work to provide information to consumers on indecency as well as various other matters. CGB generally refers indecency complaints to EB. 

EB has 17 attorneys and 16 other support personnel that work on matters involving obscenity, indecency and profanity. EB increases staffing as demand requires. The Investigations and Hearings Division (IHD) handles most complaint review in EB, but senior staff in EB are involved at all levels of the investigative process. Following an initial review of the complaint, IHD staff may request additional information from the complainant, or issue a letter of inquiry, Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, or denial. We have also prepared aflow chart describing how complaints are handled from receipt to notification provided to the complainant. 


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