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GPS, Wi-Fi, and Cell Phone Jammers Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

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Citation Edit

Federal Communications Commission, Enforcement Bureau. GPS, Wi-Fi, and Cell Phone Jammers Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) (full-text).

Overview Edit

This website contains a series of questions and answers involving GPS, Wi-Fi, and cell phone jammers.

How it works Edit

Jamming technology generally does not discriminate between desirable and undesirable communications. A jammer can block all radio communications on any device that operates on radio frequencies within its range (i.e., within a certain radius of the jammer) by emitting radio frequency waves that prevent the targeted device from establishing or maintaining a connection. For example, jammers can:

Legal issues Edit

Federal law prohibits the marketing,[1] sale, or use of a transmitter (e.g., a jammer) designed to block, jam, or interfere with wireless communications.[2]

  • Section 301 of the Communications Act: "No person shall use or operate any apparatus for the transmission of energy or communications or signals by radio . . . except under and in accordance with [the Communications] Act and with a license in that behalf granted under the provisions of this Act."[3]
  • Section 302(b) of the Communications Act: "No person shall manufacture, import, sell, offer for sale, or ship devices or home electronic equipment and systems, or use devices, which fail to comply with regulations promulgated pursuant to this section."[4]
  • Section 333 of the Communications Act: "No person shall willfully or maliciously interfere with or cause interference to any radio communications of any station licensed or authorized by or under [the Communications] Act or operated by the United States Government."[5]

Jammers cannot be marketed or operated in the United States except in the very limited context of authorized, official use by the federal government.

The unlawful use of a jammer is a criminal offense and can result in various sanctions, including a jail sentence. More specifically, the unlawful marketing, sale, or operation of cell phone, GPS], or other signal jammers in the U.S. can result in:

  • significant fines (called "monetary forfeitures") — up to $16,000 for each violation or each day of a continuing violation, and as high as $112,500 for any single act;
  • government seizure of the illegal equipment; and
  • criminal penalties including imprisonment.[6]

The FCC has taken action against various individuals and business entities for unlawfully operating and marketing jammers. You can find more information on jammer enforcement here.

References Edit

  1. "Marketing" is defined in the FCC rules as the "sale or lease, or offering for sale or lease, including advertising for sale or lease, or importation, shipment, or distribution for the purpose of selling or leasing or offering for sale or lease." 47 C.F.R. §2.803(e)(4).
  2. See Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. §§301, 302a(b), 333.
  3. 47 U.S.C. §301.
  4. 47 U.S.C. §302a(b).
  5. 47 U.S.C. §333.
  6. See 47 U.S.C. §§401, 501, 503, 510; 47 C.F.R. §1.80(b)(3).

Source Edit

  • GPS, Wi-Fi, and Cell Phone Jammers Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).

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