Mobile phone jammer app - GPS, Wi-Fi, and Cell Phone Jammers Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

GPS, Wi-Fi, and Cell Phone Jammers Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
GENERAL INFORMATION
1.
What are “jammers”?
2.
How do jammers work?
3.
What laws prohibit the marketing, sale, and use of jammers
?
4.
Does the term “marketing” have a specific meaning?
5.
Why are cell phone jammers, Wi-Fi jammers, and GPS jammers illegal?
6.
Some devices claim to block cell phone calls,
text messa
ges, and emails only inside a
car. Are these illegal as well?
7.
May I order and import a jammer into the U.S.?
8.
What are the penalties for using a jammer? Can I go to prison?
9.
What should I do if I already own a jammer?
10.
Whom should I contact if I have additional questions?
MANUFACTURING AND SALE OF JAMMERS
11.
Is it illegal to sell a cell phone jammer, GPS jammer, or other jammer in the U.S. or
its Territories?
12.
I sell and ship jammers all over the world through a site on the Internet. What
should I do to comply with U.S. law?
13.
I sell signal jammers on my website but ma
ke cer
tain to notify potential buyers that
the jammers may only be purchased, leased,
or operated in the U.S. by authorized
federal agents. Can I be prosecuted if
an unauthorized purchaser ignores this
warning?
14.
Can I legally manufacture a jammer in the U.S.?
USE AND OPERATION OF JAMMERS
15.
Can I operate a jammer in the U.S.?
Page 1
16.
I live outside the continental U.S. – in Puerto
Rico, t
he U.S. Virgin Islands, American
Samoa, or Guam. Do the restrictions on operating jammers apply to me?
17.
I don’t use my cell jammer in public. Can
I use it in my own home, business, or
vehicle?
18.
I am a local government official and I would
like to ensure compli
ance with laws that
prohibit cell phone use at certain times or in certain places. May a cell phone
jammer be used in this context?
19.
I am a principal or school teacher and would like to use a jammer to limit cell phone
calls and texting during school hours. May I do so?
COMPLAINTS ABOUT JAMMERS
20.
Each time I visit a certain area, I get the message “Call Lost” or I can’t make or
receive calls on my cell phone. I suspect that someone is using a cell phone jammer,
but how can I tell for sure?
21.
Can I help stop jammers?
22.
How do I file a jamming complaint
with the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau?
23.
I’d like to file a complaint, but have a question about the jamming
prohibition.
Whom should I contact?
GENERAL INFORMATION
1.
What are “jammers”?
Generall
y, “jammers” — which are also commonly called signal blockers, GPS jammers,
cell phone jammers, text blockers, etc. — are illegal radio frequency transmitters that are
designed to block, jam, or otherwise inte
rfere with authorized radio communications.
2.
How do jammers work?
Jamming tech
nology generally does not disc
riminate between desirable and undesirable
communications. A jammer can block all radio communications on any device that
operates on radio frequencies within its range (
i.e.,
within a certain radius of the jammer)
by emitting radio frequency waves that preven
t the targeted device
from establishing or
maintaining a connection.
For example, jammers can:
prevent your cell phone from making or
receiving calls, text messages, and
emails;
prevent your Wi-Fi enabled device from connecting to the Internet;
prevent your GPS unit from receivin
g correct positioning signals; and
Page 2
prevent a first responder from lo
cating you in an emergency.
Of course, losing a signal does not necessa
rily mean that someone nearby is using a
jammer.
See also
,
Question 20
- Each Time I Visit a Certain Area, I Get the Message “Call
Lost.”
3.
What laws prohibit the market
ing, sale, and use of jammers?
Federal law p
rohibits the
marketing
, sale
, or
use
of a transmitter (
e.g.
, a jammer) designed
to block, jam, or interfere wi
th wireless communications.
See
Communications Act of
1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C.
§§ 301, 302a(b), 333.
Section 301 of the Communications Act
: “No person shall use or operate any
apparatus for the transmission of energy or communications or signals by
radio...except under and in accordance with [the Communications] Act and with
a license in that behalf granted under the pr
ovisions of this Act.” 47 U.S.C. § 301.
Section 302(b) of the Communications Act
: “No person shall manufacture, import,
sell, offer for sale, or ship devices or ho
me electronic equipment and systems, or
use devices, which fail to comply with
regulations promulgated pursuant to this
section.” 47 U.S.C. § 302a(b).
Section 333 of the Communications Act
: “No person shall willfully or maliciously
interfere with or cause interference to
any radio communications of any station
licensed or authorized by
or under [the Communications]
Act or operated by the
United States Government.” 47 U.S.C. § 333.
Jammers cannot be marketed or operated in th
e United States except in the very limited
context of authorized, official use by the federal government.
4.
Does the term “marketing” have a specific meaning?
Yes. “Market
ing” is defined in the FCC rules as
the “sale or lease, or offering for sale or
lease, including advertising for sale or lease, or importation, shipment, or distribution for
the purpose of selling or leasing or offering for sale or lease.” 47 C.F.R. § 2.803(e)(4).
5.
Why are cell phone jammers, Wi-Fi jammers, and GPS jammers illegal?
Jammers are
more than just a nuisance; they pose an unacceptable risk to public safety by
potentially preventing the transmission of emergency communications. Cell phone
jammers do not distinguish between social
or other cell phone conversations and an
emergency call to a family member or a 9-1-
1 emergency responder. Similarly, GPS and
Wi-Fi jammers maliciously disrupt both routine and critical communications services.
Jammers could also block more than just
cell phone calls; these devices could disrupt
important communications services that operate
on adjacent frequencies, or worse, they
could disrupt all communications wi
thin a broad frequency range.
Page 3
6.
Some devices claim to block cell phone
calls, t
ext messages, and emails only
inside a car. Are these illegal as well?
Any device that jams or disrupts cell phone calls, text messages, or other wireless
communications by emitting an interfering radi
o 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 particul
ar 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 labele
d with an FCC identification number. (
See
Figure 1 below.)
Figure 1: Sample FCC ID labels
Jamming devices, however, are
ineligible
to receive a grant of equipment authorization
from the FCC or an FCC ID. (The FCC’s O
ffice of Engineering and Technology oversees
the authorization of non-jamming equipment th
at uses the radio frequency spectrum.
More information is available at h
ttp://www.fcc.gov/encyclopedia/equipment-
authorization.)
7.
May I order and import a jammer into the U.S.?
No. Consum
ers may not order a signal jammer from a foreign retailer and have it shipped
into the U.S. The Communications Act prohib
its the importation of jamming devices into
the U.S. except in limited circumstances that do not apply to consumers.
See
47 U.S.C. §
302a(b), (c).
Page 4
8.
What are the penalties for using a jammer? Can I go to prison?
Yes. The unl
awful use of a jammer is a criminal
offense and can result in various sanctions,
including a jail sentence. More specifically, the unlawful
marketing
, sale, or operation of
cell phone, GPS, or other signal jammers in the U.S. can result in:
significant fines (we call them “monetary forfeitures”) – up to $16,000
for each
violation or each day of a continuing violation
, and as high as $112,500 for any single
act;
government seizure of the illegal equipment; and
criminal penalties including imprisonment.
See
47 U.S.C. §§ 401, 501, 503, 510;
47 C.F.R. § 1.80(b)(3).
The FCC has taken action against various indi
viduals and business entities for unlawfully
operating and marketing jammers. You can find more information on jammer
enforcement at www.fcc.gov/encyclopedia/jammer-enforcement.
9.
What should I do if I already own a jammer?
Any unautho
rized person (
i.e.
, anyone other than an author
ized federal government user)
in possession of a jamming device must imme
diately 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 ca
lling 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
.
10.
Whom should I contact if I have additional questions?
For additiona
l information regarding enforc
ement of the jamming prohibition, visit
www.fcc.gov/encyclopedia/jammer-enforcement
, or contact Kevin Pittman or Neal McNeil
of the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau at (202) 418-1160 or
jammerinfo@fcc.gov
.
MANUFACTURING AND SALES OF JAMMERS
11.
Is it illegal to sell a cell phone jammer,
GPS jammer, or
other jamming device
in the U.S. or its Territories?
Yes. The sale, lease, importation, distribution, or
marketing
of jammers in the U.S. or its
Territories is prohibited by federal law.
See
47 U.S.C. § 302a(b); 47 C.F.R. § 2.803(a).
There is a very narrow exception. In limited
circumstances, the sale of signal jammers for
use by authorized federal ag
encies may be permitted.
See
47 U.S.C. § 302a(c); 47 C.F.R. §
2.807(d). Please contact the FCC Enforcement Bureau at
jammerinfo@fcc.gov
if you have
questions about this limited exception.
Page 5
12.
I sell and ship jammers all over the world through a site on the Internet.
What should I do to comply with
U.S. law?
Manufacturers and retailers of electronic equipment should take affirmative action to
comply with U.S. law:
Immediately stop
marketing
within the United States an
y equipment that is designed
to block, jam, or otherwise interfere with authorized radio communications.
Decline to sell or ship such jamming devices
to addresses in the United States or its
Territories (except in the very limited co
ntext of authorized sales to the federal
government). For example, some Internet
auction or marketplace websites permit
a seller to set up restrictions that automat
ically block the sale of any item to
countries specified by the seller.
Ensure that any jamming devices manufactured in the United States are available
solely for export and are not for sale domestically except to the U.S. government.
We note that U.S. manufacturers should be aware that jammers may be unlawful in
other countries.
IMPORTANT NOTE ON DISCLAIMERS: We
emphasize that it is insufficient and
misleading for manufacturers and retailers to include a disclaimer on their websites or in
promotional or advertising materials statin
g or implying that U.S. consumers bear
sole
responsibility for complying wi
th the applicable legal obli
gations. The manufacturer or
retailer is also violating the law both by offeri
ng the device for sale to U.S. consumers and
completing the sales transaction. Use of disc
laimers that purport to place the sole burden
on the buyer cannot absolve the manuf
acturer or retailer of liability.
13.
I sell signal jammers on my website but make certain to notify potential
buyers that the jamme
rs may only be purchased, leased, or operated in the
U.S. by authorized federal agents. Ca
n I be prosecuted if an unauthorized
purchaser ignores this warning?
Even with such a notice, a seller will still be
subject to prosecution if it sells a jammer to
an unauthorized person in the U.S.
Because Internet sales often target a worldwid
e audience, some Internet retailers display a
disclaimer advising that the purchaser bear
s sole responsibility for ensuring that the
purchase or importation complies with the app
licable laws. Although a prominent notice
on a webpage warning that the device may not be purchased, leased, or operated in the
U.S. would be helpful to consumers, no such
notification or disclaimer of responsibility
will relieve a seller of its individual liab
ility if an unauthorized sale is made.
14.
Can I legally manufacture a jammer in the U.S.?
Possibly. Ma
nufacturers should ensure that any jamming devices manufactured in the U.S.
are available solely for export and are not for sale domestically, except in the limited
context of authorized sales to the federal government.
See
47 U.S.C. § 302a(c); 47 C.F.R.
§ 2.807(d). Please contact the FCC Enforcement Bureau at
jammerinfo@fcc.gov
if you
Page 6
have questions about this limited exception.
We note that U.S. manufacturers should be
aware that jammers may be unlawful in other countries.
USE AND OPERATION OF JAMMERS
15.
Can I operate a jammer in the U.S.?
No. It is a vi
olation of federal law to operate jammers in the United States, except for
authorized, official use by the U.S. government.
16.
I live outside the continental U.S. – in Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands,
American Samoa, or G
uam. Do the re
strictions on operating jammers apply
to me?
Yes. The Communications Act forbids the use of jamming devices in the U.S. and its
Territories.
17.
I don’t use my cell jammer in public. Can I use it in my own home, business,
or vehicle?
No. Jamming devices may not be used regardl
ess of whether the device is operated on
public or private property. If you own a jammer,
do not continue to operate it. You risk
substantial fines (of up to $16,000 for
each
violation or
each day
of a continuing violation,
or up to $112,000 for a single act); seizure of
the device by the government; and criminal
imprisonment. Signal jammers do not respect property lines, and federal law provides no
exception that allows for the private or commercial use of a jammer.
18.
I am a local government official and
I would like to ensur
e compliance with
laws that prohibit cell phone use at certain times or in certain places. May a
cell phone jammer be used in this context?
No. The Communications Act does not exempt
state or local government officials from
the prohibition on jammers. Similarly, state
and local school systems are also prohibited
from using cell phone jammers. Use of cell pho
ne jammers poses an unacceptable risk to
public safety.
Jammers cannot be marketed or operated in the United States, except in the very limited
context of authorized, official use by the
federal government. See 47 U.S.C. § 302a(c); 47
C.F.R. § 2.807(d).
19.
I am a principal or school teacher and
would li
ke to use a jammer to limit cell
phone calls and texting during school hours. May I do so?
No. It is a violation of federal law to operate a jamming device within the U.S. Cell phone
jammers do not distinguish between social
or other cell phone conversations and an
Page 7
emergency call to a family member
or a 9-1-1 emergency responder.
In an emergency,
use of a cell jammer can pose a threat to both students and staff by preventing
communications with polic
e or emergency services
.
In other words, jammers, even if carefully ta
rgeted, create risks of interference outside
their intended zone of operations and can
thereby disrupt critical communications by
public safety providers, as well as th
e legitimate communications of passersby.
COMPLAINTS ABOUT JAMMERS
20.
Each time I visit a certain area, I get the message “Call Lost” or I can’t make
or receive calls on my cell phone. I
suspect that someone is using a cell phone
jammer, but how can I tell for sure?
Losing a signal does not necessarily mean
that someone nearby is using a cell phone
jammer. In fact, signal loss can be caused
by many factors, such as signal blockage by
buildings or natural obstructions, unusually he
avy call volume in the area, being too far
from a cell tower, or being outside of a serv
ice provider’s coverage or roaming area. Cell
phone users are encouraged to contact their se
rvice provider to ensure that coverage is
available. If there are no se
rvice disruptions and there is
interference to authorized
communications, the FCC’s Enforcement Bu
reau may use specialized equipment to
identify the specific location of a jammer.
21.
Can I help stop jammers?
Yes. You can notify the Enforcement Bureau
about the illegal sale or use of jam
ming
devices by filing a complaint.
Sale of Illegal Jamming Devices:
You may come across several jamming devices
advertised on the Internet. If you ha
ve reason to suspect that a company
sells
jammers in the U.S. and does not restri
ct such sales to authorized federal
government users
, you should contact the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau through the
online complaint portal,
www.fcc.gov/complaints
.
Additionally, some online auctions or websit
es allow you to notify them of the sale
of products that are illegal or that otherwise violate their terms of service by
clicking on a “flag” or “report abuse” link.
Use of Illegal Jamming Devices:
If you have information regarding the
use of a jammer
in the U.S.,
you should contact the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau through the FCC’s
online complaint portal,
www.fcc.gov/complaints
.
See also
,
Question 22
- How do I file a jamming complaint?
Page 8
Page 9
22.
How do I file a jamming complaint with the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau?
To file a com
plaint alerting the FCC’s Enfo
rcement Bureau to illegal cell, GPS, or other
jamming devices, please visit
www.fcc.gov/complaints
, or call 1-888-CALL-FCC (1-888-
225-5322) voice or 1-888-TELL-
FCC (1-888-835-5322) TTY.
Sale of Illegal Jamming Devices:
If your complaint is about the sale of illegal jamming devices,
please provide the following information in your complaint:
the website address and retailer name;
the name and product number of th
e jammers that were advertised;
the date you viewed the advertisement; and
any additional information that yo
u believe could be relevant.
Use of Illegal Jamming Devices:
If your complaint is about the use of illegal jamming devices,
please include the following information in your complaint:
the time(s) of the occurrence;
the date(s) of the occurrence;
the location of the occurrence;
the name of the person or co
mpany operating the jammer;
the facts and circumstances that support
your belief that a jammer was being used
(in addition to loss of signal or poor reception); and
any additional information that yo
u believe could be relevant.
23.
I’d like to file a complaint, but have a
question about the jamming prohibition.

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