Federal law prohibits the operation, marketing, or sale of any type of jamming equipment that interferes with authorized radio communications, including cellular and Personal Communication Services (PCS), police radar, and Global Positioning Systems (GPS).
Signal jamming devices can prevent you and others from making 9-1-1 and other emergency calls and pose serious risks to public safety communications, as well as interfere with other forms of day-to-day communications.
The use of a phone jammer, GPS blocker, or other signal jamming device designed to intentionally block, jam, or interfere with authorized radio communications is a violation of federal law. There are no exemptions for use within a business, classroom, residence, or vehicle. Local law enforcement agencies do not have independent authority to use jamming equipment; in certain limited exceptions use by Federal law enforcement agencies is authorized in accordance with applicable statutes.
It is also unlawful to advertise, sell, distribute, import, or otherwise market jamming devices to consumers in the United States.
The use or marketing of a jammer in the United States may subject you to substantial monetary penalties, seizure of the unlawful equipment, and criminal sanctions including imprisonment.
What to do if You Believe Authorized Communications are Being Jammed
Bad network connections can be caused by a variety of factors, including faulty equipment, physical obstructions that block the signal, or lawful devices that are operating on the same frequencies. Before filing a complaint, please be sure to troubleshoot your equipment and connectivity issues in accordance with manufacturer and service provider recommendations. In addition to consulting the owner’s manual and the company’s tech support, searching the Internet for your device/model and specific issue may help to either identify or rule out possible causes.
File a Complaint
LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIALS: If you are a law enforcement professional and require assistance with jamming or interference, please file a complaint through the FCC Enforcement Bureau’s Public Safety Interference (PSIX-ESIX) Portal at https://www.fcc.gov/ and click on PSIX-ESIX or go directly to https://fccprod.servicenowservices.com/psix-esix. If the jamming or interference is imminently threatening safety of life, please contact the FCC’s 24-Hour Operations Center at 202-418-1122.
CONSUMERS: A loss of or interference with service can occur for a variety of reasons. If you are experiencing problems with your service, your first course of action should be to contact your wireless provider to investigate the issue. You should also troubleshoot your equipment and connectivity issues in accordance with manufacturer and service provider recommendations. If after contacting your provider and confirming that equipment and connectivity is not the cause of the interference, and you still have reason to believe that someone is using a jammer, or you would like to report the selling, advertising, shipping, distributing, or importing of jammers, you may file a complaint or submit an inquiry through the FCC Consumer Complaint Center by visiting the FCC Consumer Complaint Center at www.consumercomplaints.fcc.gov (which can also be reached via the “File a Consumer Complaint” banner on the FCC.gov home page).
· From the Consumer Complaint Center page, select the Phone icon and proceed with filing a complaint at the bottom of the page by opening the phone complaint form. (You should select Phone regardless of the type of device affected.)
· Write “Interference” or “Jamming” in the Subject Box.
· Select “Interference” in the Phone Issue box and select “Signal Jammers” as the Phone Interference Sub-Issue.
· Describe fully the type(s) of devices that are experiencing issues, the specific issues/symptoms of each, the likely date, time and duration of the incident, and any actions taken to troubleshoot the problem, including any assessment by your service provider.
- The Communications Act of 1934
- Section 301 - requires persons operating or using radio transmitters to be licensed or authorized under the Commission’s rules (47 U.S.C. § 301).
- Section 302(b) - prohibits the manufacture, importation, marketing, sale or operation of signal jammers within the United States (47 U.S.C. § 302a(b)).
- Section 333 - prohibits willful or malicious interference with the radio communications of any station licensed or authorized under the Act or operated by the U.S. Government (47 U.S.C. § 333).
- Section 501 – allows for substantial monetary fines and criminal sanctions including imprisonment (47 U.S.C. § 501).
- Section 503 - allows the FCC to impose forfeitures for willful or repeated violations of the Communications Act, the Commission's rules, regulations, or related orders, as well as for violations of the terms and conditions of any license, certificate, or other Commission authorization, among other things (47 U.S.C. § 503).
- Sections 510 - allows for seizure of unlawful equipment (47 U.S.C. § 510).
- The Commission's Rules
- Section 2.803 - prohibits the manufacture, importation, marketing, sale or operation of unauthorized devices within the United States (47 C.F.R. § 2.803).
- Section 2.807 - provides for certain limited exceptions, such as the sale to U.S. government users (47 C.F.R. § 2.807).
- The U.S. Criminal Code (Enforced by the Department of Justice or Department of Homeland Security)
- Title 18, Section 545 – prohibits the importation of illegal goods into the United States; subjects the operator to possible fines, imprisonment, or both (18 U.S.C. § 545).
- Title 18, Section 1362 - prohibits willful or malicious interference to US government communications; subjects the operator to possible fines, imprisonment, or both (18 U.S.C. § 1362).
- Title 18, Section 1367(a) - prohibits intentional or malicious interference to satellite communications, including GPS; subjects the operator to possible fines, imprisonment, or both (18 U.S.C. § 1367(a)).