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Largest Fine Ever: Signal Jammer Company Faces $34.9 Million Fine from FCC

By , June 22nd, 2014 | 13 Comments »

FCC fines signal jammer company $34.9 million
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced that the Chinese electronics maker CTS Technology will face a fine of $34.9 million, the largest fine in the FCC’s history. The company is being fined for marketing devices which illegally block phone calls and other radio signals to people in the US.

It’s against the law in the US to sell or market any device which blocks, interferes, or jams authorized radio signals. This include devices which jam phone calls, Wi-Fi networks, GPS signals, Bluetooth and satellite communications. It also includes jamming communications between first responders to emergencies or disasters.

The FCC found CTS Technology was marketing over 250 models of signal jamming devices to consumers in the US for a period of over two years on its website. The FCC noted the website claimed some of these jamming devices were actually approved by the FCC, something that it doesn’t do. As part of the investigation, the FCC was also able to obtain 10 high-powered signal jamming devices by having undercover FCC personnel covertly purchase them from CTS Technology.

Many of the jamming devices came disguised as other objects in an attempt to keep people from knowing where the signal was coming from. One of the devices was disguised to appear as a painting, while another one appeared to be a normal pack of cigarettes. The jamming devices varied in range, but some were powerful enough to jam signals as far as a half mile away.

The huge fine amount comes from the FCC planning to assess CTS Technology the maximum amount allowed for each jamming device model it has allegedly marketed to consumers in the United States. While signal jamming devices are allowed in the US, they’re highly regulated. These devices can only be used by federal law enforcement officials in specified situations.

There is a huge concern from the FCC about the potential abuse of these devices. They can block emergency communications such as those between police and fire departments. They could also be used to block 911 emergency calls. The fear is these devices might be used to make a disaster even more deadly by making it impossible for people to contact emergency personnel or disrupt rescue efforts by not allowing first responders to communicate and coordinate their rescue effort.

As part of the investigation, the FCC is currently trying to track down the names of all US citizens who purchased a jamming device from this company. It has requested CTS Technology to turn over all details of those who made purchases from them in the US.

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  • KMacK says:

    What’s needed is a device or system that can pinpoint an active cellphone in, say, a theater and enable the Ushers to escort the nuisance out of the building.
    Yes, I can see why people buy these jammers: The Mental Zombies and halfwits who ignore the signs requesting that they turn off their cellphones while the performance is being presented and then yack or text or send a video of what’s happening… Yeah, jammers are a regrettably illegal way to deal with these mental cases. So are sledge hammers (ahh the temptation).
    If you can’t jam them, the next best bet is locate them and simply remove them from the auditorium. At the very least they are being crude and inconsiderate and at worst, (video) they are stealing intellectual property.
    Of course, that would mean having to hire ushers…
    I sense a no-win situation here.

  • Jim says:

    Frankly I think they should be legal. I’m sick and tired of trying to eat a nice meal and having to listen to loudmouth jerk B.S.ing on his phone , evidently, as loud as he can.

  • bill jones says:


  • Mensa141 says:

    Obviously also illegal for our military to use the same kind of devices in Afghanistan to help guard against IEDs.

  • jc says:

    It is reasonable to assume that government will intervene when there is a risk to public health and safety. Unfortunately the level of governance exercised in this situation is not equal to the level of governance being demonstrated wrt gun control.
    Without a doubt, the lack of gun control has and will continue to contribute to an elevated level of risk to public health and safety then a jamming device.

  • Charles says:

    Who needs an atom bomb if you can distribute 10,000 jammers in a large city? As Poco said: “We have met the enemy and he is us” See hyperlink: http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/local/Rider-Annoyed-by-Calls-Jams-Phones-on-Septa-Bus-140966733.html

  • Stancy Lee says:

    Hackers these days tend to go through products made in China, especially computers, laptops, routers etc.

  • Stan Hubler says:

    The FCC needs to continue its work on unintentional jamming, which is still a significant problem.

  • lol says:

    That’s the stupidest news I’ve ever heard, it’s a company with no U.S presence, so how are they gonna collect? Please give us what is probably more than your company’s worth, out of the goodness of your heart? How does the FCC even go about fining a company that’s not even under its jurisdiction? It’s also an online company, so by undercover, it just means they put in an order and received it. Of course you’re gonna receive it if you paid for it, so really it’s the FCC performing the illegal act, the company may or may not be selling it legally depending on local law, not U.S law. Go after the people who are buying it from China if it is illegal, not the company who’s outside of its jurisdiction.

  • usernameJUDGE says:

    Fining china is impossible.

    A friend sold China a very expensive,
    very high performance, Tesla Coil.

    China copied it and sent it back, postage due.

    No payment.

    In China it’s called, doing business.


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