The Federal Communications Commission on Thursday announced intentions to fine a Chinese electronics maker a record $34.9 million for selling cell phone jammers in the US according to a statement on the matter.
The FCC alleges C.T.S. Technology Co. Ltd marketed 285 models of cell phone signal jammers to US consumers for more than two years. Offerings ranged from small handheld devices to larger stationary installations with up to eight antennas capable of blocking all popular wireless RF signals including, 2G/3G/4G mobile phone, WiFi Bluetooth, UHF, VHF, GPS, LoJack, remote control and so on.
To help build their case, undercover FCC personnel purchased 10 high-powered signal jammers from C.T.S.
Travis LeBlanc, Acting Chief of the Enforcement Bureau, said all companies, whether domestic or foreign, are banned from marketing illegal jammers in the US. He added that they present a direct danger to public safety as they could potentially block the communications of first responders. What’s more, operating a jammer is illegal and consumers who do so face significant civil and criminal penalties.
The penalty was so high in part because C.T.S. Technology Co. Ltd claimed that select devices had been approved for use by the FCC. As such, the FCC applied the maximum file allowed for each jammer model. The FCC is also ordering C.T.S. to provide information about any persons and entities in the US that purchased the illegal devices.
The company has 30 days to respond to the complaint or pay the fine.