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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