FCC Fines Chinese Retailer $34.9 Million for Marketing Illegal Signal 'Jammers'

It is a violation of federal law to market, sell, import, or use a signal jammer in the United States

FCC Fines Chinese Retailer $34.9 Million for Marketing Illegal Signal 'Jammers'
Image: Pixabay
May 26, 2016

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has issued a $34.9 million fine against C.T.S. Technology, a Chinese electronics manufacturer and online retailer, for marketing and selling signal jamming devices to U.S. consumers.

So-called "jammers" are radio frequency transmitters that intentionally block, jam, or interfere with wireless communications, such as cellphone calls, GPS systems, Wi-Fi networks, and first-responder communications. It is a violation of federal law to market, sell, import, or use a signal jammer in the United States.

"In today's mobile world, cellular, GPS, and other signal jamming devices seriously jeopardize communications, business operations, and public safety," said FCC Enforcement Bureau Chief Travis LeBlanc. "Marketing or selling these devices to the public is unlawful and comes with substantial penalties."

The FCC says that the company marketed jammers to U.S. consumers in 2014 through its own websites and third party platforms. The 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.

Following an investigation by the FCC's Enforcement Bureau, the Commission proposed a $34,912,500 fine against C.T.S. Technology for its marketing of 285 jammer models in the U.S. The FCC also ordered the company to ensure that its marketing complied with Federal law. Although the company did not respond to the proposed fine, the company has since taken several measures that appear to bring its marketing into compliance with U.S. law prohibiting the marketing, sale, and import of signal jammers.

Since the FCC did not receive any evidence from C.T.S. Technology to contradict its initial findings, the full proposed fine against the company has been affirmed and levied.

More information about the FCC's jammer enforcement efforts and a list of Frequently Asked Questions is available at https://www.fcc.gov/jammers.

To report the sale or use of an illegal jammer, contact the FCC through the agency's online complaint portal.