from the we-be-jammin'--be-costin' dept.
Anu Passary writes at Tech Times that the FCC has imposed a fine of $34.9 million on Chinese GPS signal jammer vendor CTS Technology who has been found guilty of advertising and selling around 300 types of signal jammers in the US over a period of two years. The $34.9 million fine is the highest the agency has ever imposed. FCC claims that CTS Technology also lied to customers that its products are FCC approved. According to the FCC document an undercover stingoperation was conducted to stop the illegal sale of signal jammers when FCC agents purchased 10 of the signal jammers sold by CTS Technology. They found that the jammers were effectively able to block mobile phone signals as well as Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, satellite and GPS signals. Moreover, some of the signal jammers were able to block signals over a distance of half a mile.
"Signal jamming devices (also referred to as signal jammers) operate by transmitting powerful radio signals that overpower, jam, or interfere with authorized communications. While these devices have been marketed with increasing frequency over the Internet, they have no lawful consumer use in the United States. Jammers are not only designed to impede authorized communications and thereby interfere with the rights of legitimate spectrum users and the general public, their operations also place the safety of the public at risk," per the FCC document.
There are numerous jammers offered on the CTS site, ranging in size from handheld to a rolling suitcase. One handheld model, made in Guangdong, China, and priced at US$240, is advertised as having a range of 20 meters, "ideal for a large room, restaurant, cinema ... Or whilst having a conversation and you want to eliminate others from using mobile telephones." A larger, stationary model with eight antennas is said to cover "all of the popular wireless RF signals including, 2G/3G/4G mobile phone, WiFi Bluetooth, UHF, VHF, GPS, LoJack, remote control and so on."