The Communications Act of 1934, as amended, prohibits the operation, manufacture, importation, marketing, and sale of equipment designed to jam or otherwise interfere with authorized radio communications, such as radar, global positioning system (GPS), and cell phone communications. These jamming devices pose significant risks to public safety and potentially compromise other radio communications services.
- Section 301 of the Act requires a valid FCC authorization or license for the operation of radio transmitting equipment. Unlike other radio transmitting equipment, jamming equipment cannot be authorized by the FCC because the main purpose of jamming equipment is to interfere with radio communications.
- Section 302(b) of the Act prohibits the manufacture, importation, sale, offer for sale, or operation of devices that do not comply with the equipment authorization rules. Jammers do not comply with the rules because they are designed to jam or disrupt authorized communications.
- Section 333 of the Act prohibits willful or malicious interference with any radio communications of any station licensed by or authorized under the Act, or operated by the United States Government.
- Consequently, the operation of jamming equipment violates Sections 301 and 333 of the Act. The manufacture, importation, sale, or offer for sale of jamming equipment violates Section 302(b) of the Act.
- As a result of past enforcement efforts, jammers are rarely marketed by domestic entities and now are almost exclusively marketed online by foreign retailers. When the retailer is located outside of U.S. territory, The Hague Convention on Service Abroad may apply and require that Commission documents only be served in a manner prescribed by authorities in the retailer’s country of residence.
- The Enforcement Bureau has released Enforcement Advisories specifically designed to inform retailers, importers, consumers, and state and local government agencies that jammers are illegal and may not be operated, marketed or imported into the United States. The Advisories warn that violators risk substantial civil and criminal penalties.
- See the Jammer Enforcement webpage for more information.