The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has issued an advisory warning to consumers about the use of various jamming devices to block cellphone and GPS communications.
Issued in March 2012, the Commission’s Enforcement Advisory references recent publicized instances of people using cellphone jammers to create “quiet zones” on buses and trains, and reminds consumers that the use of such devices is illegal. Violations of the Commission’s rules carry monetary penalties of up to $112,500 per any single incident, as well as potential criminal sanctions, including imprisonment.
In addition to banning the use of jamming devices by individuals, FCC rules also prohibit the importation, advertising or selling of such devices.
Although jamming devices can interfere with public cellphone conversations that may be annoying to some, they can also block all radio communication within the affected area, including 911 emergency system calls made from cellphones and urgent communications by public safety officials.
Read the complete text of the Commission’s Enforcement Advisory regarding jamming devices.