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Why are GPS, WiFi, and Cell Phone Jammers Illegal in the United States?

Why are GPS, WiFi, and Cell Phone Jammers Illegal in the United States?

If the device doesn’t have an FCC-ID it isn’t legal for consumers own or operate the device. It is also illegal to sell or market the device in the US. See info below from an FAQ about jammers by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Enforcement Bureau. [local archive of FAQ pdf]

Any device that jams or disrupts cell phone calls, text messages, or other wireless communications by emitting an interfering radio frequency signal is illegal and may not be marketed or operated in the United States, except in the very limited context of authorized, official use by the federal government. Please note that it may be difficult to determine from an advertisement how a particular device functions. You should contact the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau at jammerinfo@fcc.gov if you have questions.

We emphasize that consumers cannot legally operate any radio transmitting device (e.g., a Wi-Fi or Bluetooth transmitter, wireless phone, etc.) that does not have an authorization from the FCC and that is not properly labeled with an FCC identification number.

Jamming devices, however, are ineligible to receive a grant of equipment authorization from the FCC or an FCC ID. (The FCC’s Office of Engineering and Technology oversees the authorization of non-jamming equipment that uses the radio frequency spectrum. More information is available at http://www.fcc.gov/encyclopedia/equipment- authorization.)

Also from the FAQ…

What should I do if I already own a jammer?

Any unauthorized person (i.e., anyone other than an authorized federal government user)
in possession of a jamming device must immediately cease operation of the device. You can also voluntarily surrender the device to one of the FCC Enforcement Bureau Field Offices (located across the country), by calling the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau at (202) 418-7450 for information about the office nearest you, or by sending an email to jammerinfo@fcc.gov.

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Filed under: Gadgets, WLAN Legal Matters

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