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FCC Public Notice

FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
445 - 12th STREET S.W.
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20554

News media information 202/418-0500, Fax-On-Demand 202/418-2830, TTY 202/418-2555
Internet http://www.fcc.gov or ftp.fcc.gov
Network Services 202/418-0484 and Informal Complaints 202/418-0485

DA # 05-1776
June 27, 2005

Sale or Use of Transmitters Designed to Prevent, Jam or Interfere with
Cell Phone Communications is Prohibited in the United States

In response to multiple inquiries concerning the sale and use of transmitters designed to prevent, jam or interfere with the operation of cellular and personal communications service (PCS) telephones, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is issuing this Public Notice to make clear that the marketing, sale, or operation of this type of equipment is unlawful. Anyone involved with such activities may be subject to forfeitures, fines or even criminal prosecution.

Cellular and PCS telephones provide valuable wireless communications services to the American public for business and personal communications. Recently, however, the FCC has seen a growing interest in devices --- called “cellular jammers” or “cell phone jammers” --- designed to deliberately jam or disrupt wireless communications. Inquiries about the use of cellular jammers are often accompanied by comments that the use of wireless phones in public places is disruptive and annoying. Advertisements for cellular jammers suggest that the devices may be used on commuter trains, in theaters, hotels, restaurants and other locations the public frequents.

The Communications Act of 1934, as amended, and the FCC rules prohibit the manufacture, importation, marketing, sale or operation of these devices within the United States (See Section 302(b) of the Communications Act, 47 USC 302a(b) and Section 2.803(a) of the FCC's rules, 47 CFR 2.803(a)). In addition, it is unlawful for any person to willfully or maliciously interfere with the radio communications of any station licensed or authorized under the Act or operated by the U.S. Government (See Section 333 of the Communications Act, 47 USC 333). Further, Section 301 of the Act, 47 USC 301, requires persons operating or using radio transmitters to be licensed or authorized under the Commission's rules.

Parties violating the provisions of the Communications Act and/or FCC rules mentioned above may be subject to the penalties set forth in 47 USC 501-510. Monetary forfeitures for a first offense can be as much as $11,000 a day for each violation and could subject the offender to criminal prosecution. Equipment may also be seized by the United States Marshals and forfeited to the U.S. Government.

For additional information, contact Brian Butler, Spectrum Enforcement Division, Enforcement Bureau, at (202) 418-1160 or brian.butler@fcc.gov.

By the Enforcement Bureau, Office of Engineering and Technology, and Wireless Telecommunications Bureau.