FCC formalizes massive fines for selling, using cell-phone jammers

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Two years ago the FCC announced its intention to fine a Chinese electronics maker $34.9 million and a Florida man $48,000 for respectively selling and using illegal cell-phone jammers.

Today the agency has issued press releases telling us that those fines have finally been made official, without either of the offending parties having bothered to mount a formal defense of their actions.

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The wheels of justice, etc. And good luck collecting the $34.9 million.

From the press release announcing the fine against CTS. Technology:

In 2014, the company marketed jammers to U.S. consumers through its own websites and third party platforms.  These jammers ranged from small, concealable devices that would block cell phone or GPS communications for a radius of only a few yards, to high-powered jammers that could disrupt a wide range of communications systems for several blocks.  The company’s website falsely claimed that some jammers had been approved by the FCC, and advertised that the company could ship signal jammers to consumers in the United States.  

The company did not respond to the FCC’s allegations, although the agency does report that changes were made to its website that appear to be aimed at complying with U.S. law. The proposed fine is now an actual fine.

Next up is Florida man, Jason R. Humphreys, who is alleged to have used a jammer on his commute:

Mr. Humphreys’ illegal operation of the jammer continued for up to two years, caused interference to cellular service along Interstate 4, and disrupted police communications.   

“This case highlights the danger posed to public safety by use of a single signal jamming device, which can disrupt all wireless and public safety communications in the area,” said Travis LeBlanc, Enforcement Bureau Chief.  “These devices may not be used by the public under any circumstances.”

The story of how Humphries got nabbed is interesting.

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