FCC's Enforcement Bureau today announced "it's clamping down on the marketing, sale, and use of illegal cellphone and GPS jamming devices because they can very easily jam signals used by the public safety and law enforcement sectors."
Cell jammers have become pretty popular items. In the last two weeks, the bureau has sent warnings to 4 online retailers, ordering that they stop marketing their products to U.S. customers or face severe fines (up to $16,000 per day the devices are available in the U.S., or $112,500 per device sold.) One of the companies the FCC targeted, TxTStopper, charges $199.95 per jammer. So the fines are very steep in proportion.
Users of the devices, likewise, are being warned that operation of a jammer in the US is illegal and may subject users to fines, seizure of the equipment, or even imprisonment. The FCC didn't outline exactly how high the fines could be for users like it did for retailers.
"While people who use jammers may think they're only silencing disruptive conversations or disabling unwanted GPS capabilities, they could also be preventing a scared teenager from calling 9-1-1, an elderly person from placing an urgent call to a doctor, or a rescue team from homing in on the location of a severely injured person. The price for one person's moment of peace or privacy, could be the safety and well-being of others," said Michele Ellison, Chief of the FCC's Enforcement Bureau.