I’ve been busy plugging the holes where people think we still test streams or update program schedules for WJAS-AM 🙂
These testing tools were originally meant for my use and as such are not intuitive – I’ve been stripping out the noise and creating a much simpler, very safe station editor that only shows you the things that you have the power to edit or are necessary to figure things out.
When you pull up the list of “Needs Review” stations, you get preliminary information about who controls the IP address for the station. Most of the bigger web hosting services in the United States are now identified. The color (Red or Green) shows my relative confidence in the safety. Any server (including this one) could be hacked at any time, so there is never a 100.00% certainty about anything.
I’m currently working on Indiana, the Hoosier state. The 2nd item is flagged as potentially dangerous. It’s a Spanish Language religious station. If you aren’t mildly literate in Spanish or hate Jesus, you always have the option of clicking on Ignore Station and letting someone else handle it.
Assuming that you’re brave and prepared enough to continue, don’t yet click on the Yellow E and pull up the editor, as that may automatically load the web site in the editor frame on the right side. Instead, click on the “Owner” link underneath the city name.
That pulls up the ARIN web site which tracks who controls which IP addresses in the United States and Canada. There are other similar agencies that handle Europe (RIPE), Asia (APNIC), Latin America (LACNIC), and Africa (AFRNIC). Within a NIC, they can suballocate ranges as they see fit, giving a range to a government of a country or an internet provider.
It would be highly unusual for an American radio station to have their web site outside of the United States. In this case, the station is not flagged as “Outside of US Jurisdiction”, so it is probably safe, but we should check further. It might be valid, it might be an SEO fake search page or it might be a clever imposter or an out of date site from a prior owner who never deleted it.
ARIN will show who controls the IP address – that doesn’t necessarily tell you who runs the web site.
Here is what ARIN says about the “Customer”:
This radio station is located in Indianapolis, Indiana, yet the IP is control by some “NOX” thing in Los Angeles. Some times, radio stations use a local ISP – if it said “Juan’s Internet Shop”, that’s probably a local ISP, and reasonably safe.
So what is NOX, and should we trust it? You could google it, or the address or the phone number and should figure out pretty quickly that NOX is a large web hosting firm in Los Angeles, that lists Dr Laura as one of their customers. How is your fear factor now?
Clicking through shows this page:
Just finding out that it is not a hacker web site does not complete the task. We are testing for Accurate, not “It’s Safe”.
The web site has changed its name from laquebuena810am.com to pescador810.com. If you’re familiar with Christian icons, “fish” (Pesca) is a mutual recognition symbol that says “I’m a Christian” that non-Christians may not recognize, and the web site is in Spanish, so the Station Format looks right (for Spanish, I don’t yet break religious stations into subtypes like preaching vs music)
Checking for accuracy, the Frequency is 810 (matching what we are looking for), the page mentions the WSYW call sign next to the frequency, and if you scroll to the bottom, you see a 2014 copyright date and the name “Continental Broadcasting” which matches the FCC Licensee name, along with a link to their EEOC report. This checks out 100% accurate as being the new authoritative web site.
I would expect you to update the URL now before clicking on “Accurate”. Some day, laquebuena810am.com is going to expire (March of next year) if not renewed and is a potential future trap.
For those not familiar yet with Spanish language stations, here are some common phrases to help you figure out what you’re looking at – if you have familiarity with any latin based language, most of them should be fairly obvious:
Escuche (o,a) en Vivo (Listen Live),
Inicio (Home Page, starting place)
Programacion, Programa (programming)