FCC Campaign Goes After GPS and Cell Phone Jammers

Website at http://www.jammer-store.com/gps-blockers-jammers.html

The  Enforcement Bureau of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission has announced new efforts to clamp down on the marketing, sale, and use of illegal cell phone and GPS jamming devices.

On February 9, the Bureau released two enforcement advisories and a downloadable poster on cell phone and GPS jamming that warn consumers, manufacturers, and retailers (including online and Web-only companies) that the marketing, sale, or use of such jamming devices is illegal.

The  Enforcement Bureau of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission has announced new efforts to clamp down on the marketing, sale, and use of illegal cell phone and GPS jamming devices.

On February 9, the Bureau released two enforcement advisories and a downloadable poster on cell phone and GPS jamming that warn consumers, manufacturers, and retailers (including online and Web-only companies) that the marketing, sale, or use of such jamming devices is illegal.

According to the agency, these steps highlight a new outreach phase of the enforcement bureau’s continuing effort to halt the distribution and proliferation of illegal jamming devices in the United States.

“Jamming devices create serious safety risks,” said Michele Ellison, chief of the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau. “In the coming weeks and months, we’ll be intensifying our efforts through — partnerships with law enforcement agencies to crack down on those who continue to violate the law.

In the last two weeks, the Bureau issued warnings to four well-known online retailers — including the company that markets the TxTStopper — directing them to cease marketing jamming devices to customers in the U.S. or face stiff fines.

Visitors to the TxtStopper website discover a notice that, in accordance with the recent FCC warning, the “accident avoidance/occupant safety device known as TxTStopper no longer will be available for retail sale to U.S. retail consumers via this website.”

The notice goes on to say that the TxtStopper brand is “being licensed WORLDWIDE in response to the GLOBAL DEMAND to eradicate the deadly epidemic of distracted driving by cell phone and other in-vehicle driver-distraction activities.”

Ellison said, “While people who use jammers may think they are only silencing disruptive conversations or disabling unwanted GPS capabilities, they could also be preventing a scared teenager from calling 9-1-1, an elderly person from placing an urgent call to a doctor, or a rescue team from homing in on the location of a severely injured person. The price for one person’s moment of peace or privacy, could be the safety and well-being of others.”

Jamming devices are radio frequency transmitters that intentionally block, jam, or interfere with lawful communications, such as cell phone calls, text messages, GPS systems, and WiFi networks.

Increasingly, online retailers tout small, inexpensive jammers as the solution for noisy classrooms, theaters, restaurants, or business meetings. However, jammers are indiscriminate – they can block critical public safety and other emergency communications along with the targeted transmissions. As such, jammers are illegal to market, sell, or use in the United States.

The FCC advisory to manufacturers and retailers of electronic equipment says they should take the following steps:

Immediately stop marketing within the United States any equipment that is designed to block, jam, or otherwise interfere with authorized radio communications.
Decline to sell or ship such jamming devices to addresses in the United States and its territories (except in the case of permitted sales to the U.S. government).
Ensure that any jamming devices manufactured in the United States are available solely for export and are not for sale domestically except to the U.S. government. We note that U.S. manufacturers should be aware that jammers may be unlawful in other countries.

The FCC advisory states that “a single violation of the jamming prohibition can result in tens of thousands of dollars in monetary penalties [up to $16,000 for each violation or each day of a continuing violation], seizure of the illegal device, and imprisonment.”

The Enforcement Advisories and poster, along with additional information regarding compliance with and enforcement of the FCC’s equipment marketing rules as they apply to jamming devices, can be found on the Enforcement Bureau website.

To file a complaint alerting the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau to illegal GPS or other jamming devices, visit <www.fcc.gov/complaints>, call 1-888-CALL-FCC, or contact Kevin Pittman or Neal McNeil of the Enforcement Bureau at (202) 418-1160 or e-mail to <jammerinfo@fcc.gov>.

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