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United States China Crime Government Wireless Networking

Chinese Vendor Could Pay $34.9M FCC Fine In Signal-Jammer Sting 188

Posted by samzenpus
from the jam-cracker dept.
alphadogg writes A Chinese electronics vendor accused of selling signal jammers to U.S. consumers could end up leading the market in one dubious measure: the largest fine ever imposed by the Federal Communications Commission. The agency wants to fine CTS Technology $34,912,500 for allegedly marketing 285 models of jammers over more than two years. CTS boldly—and falsely—claimed that some of its jammers were approved by the FCC, according to the agency's enforcement action released Thursday. Conveniently, CTS' product detail pages also include a button to "report suspicious activity." The proposed fine, which would be bigger than any the FCC has levied for anti-competitive behavior, or a wardrobe malfunction, comes from adding up the maximum fines for each model of jammer the company allegedly sold in the U.S. The agency also ordered CTS, based in Shenzhen, China, to stop marketing illegal jammers to U.S. consumers and identify the buyer of each jammer it sold in the U.S.
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Chinese Vendor Could Pay $34.9M FCC Fine In Signal-Jammer Sting

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 19, 2014 @06:43PM (#47277149)

    The FCC doesn't have jurisdiction in China. Unless the company has assets and/or a legal presence in America, they will laugh and give the FCC the middle finger.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 19, 2014 @06:44PM (#47277157)

    Jammers are a weapon and US citizens have the right to bare arms.

  • by ADRA (37398) on Thursday June 19, 2014 @06:56PM (#47277239)

    If I wanted to block all telephone signals, I should have the right to. If I block emergency radio signals, I should have the right to. If I block all wireless communication signals on the planet, I should have the right to. Wahh wahh wahh. Oh my god, do you troglodytes live in a fucking bubble or what.

  • Good. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by msauve (701917) on Thursday June 19, 2014 @06:56PM (#47277241)
    Now, go after all the police agencies using Stingray/Hailstorm/Triggerfish/Kingfish/etc. devices to listen to cell phone conversations without warrants. They do, of course, transmit on licensed frequencies, and the cops don't have a license. They also violate anti-cellular reception laws, and are themselves illegal according to the FCC:

    The Communications Act also contains provisions that affect the manufacture of equipment used for listening to or receiving radio transmissions, such as "scanners." The FCC cannot authorize scanning equipment that:
    can receive transmissions in the frequencies allocated to domestic cellular services; can readily be altered by the user to intercept cellular communications; or may be equipped with decoders that convert digital transmissions to analog voice audio. In addition, these receivers may not be manufactured in the United States or imported for use in the United States. FCC regulations also prohibit the sale or lease of scanning equipment that is not authorized by the FCC.

  • by ShanghaiBill (739463) on Thursday June 19, 2014 @07:06PM (#47277315)

    Unless the company has assets and/or a legal presence in America, they will laugh and give the FCC the middle finger.

    In that case they will no longer be able to sell anything in America. The US can also prohibit any bank doing business in the USA from doing business with them. That means pretty much every multinational bank in the world, which will prevent CTS Technology from engaging in any business outside of China. I doubt if there is a big domestic Chinese market for jammers.

  • by LocalH (28506) on Thursday June 19, 2014 @07:13PM (#47277361) Homepage

    You seriously equate jammers with the "right not to be killed by some idiot on the road who decides that his right to text supersedes the fact that he's supposed to operate his vehicle in a safe manner"? What, are you jamming from your mobile vehicle? Great, so when you're passing a wreck, your jammer floods out the call they're currently making to 911, requiring a redial, costing precious seconds which could quite literally cost that person their life. All in your quest to stamp out texting and driving. News flash - all it takes is a single packet to make it through for a text to send.

  • by nurb432 (527695) on Thursday June 19, 2014 @07:15PM (#47277379) Homepage Journal

    The same right that you have to spew nonsensical compressed waves into the air when you open your mouth and vibrate your vocal cords.

  • by viperidaenz (2515578) on Thursday June 19, 2014 @07:29PM (#47277473)

    Go for it. Don't complain when you get fined by the FCC.

  • by viperidaenz (2515578) on Thursday June 19, 2014 @07:57PM (#47277693)

    All it takes is a single jammed packet for the texter to look down at their phone again and re-send the message that failed to send.

    They now took their eyes off the road a second time, because someone jammed their text message.

  • by Obfuscant (592200) on Thursday June 19, 2014 @09:24PM (#47278239)

    A movie theatre or restaurant should have the right to block all cell phone signals on their premise with proper testing to make sure it stays within it's property lines and with proper signs stating that they do so.

    Why? What makes you think that a free-for-all radio frequency spectrum is in anyone's best interest?

    I'm guessing from your selfish attitude that you've never been an emergency services volunteer who donates a large amount of his free time to training how to save the lives of other people and might want to be able to go to a movie or a restaurant every so often and not be unable to get the notification that someone needs help. That's just one kind of person who needs to have cell service while in a movie theater or restaurant.

    I could think of plenty of other "fair use" reasons that buying and using a cell jammer should be legal.

    I doubt it. You can think of reasons why you think you are important enough that nobody should ever interfere with your personal pleasure, but that attitude ignores the fact that other people have the same rights. You cannot produce one argument that shows that my cell phone in my pocket at a restaurant interferes with you in any way, shape or form, yet you'd happily jam it so I can't get messages or calls just because you want to.

    I think the best use of a jammer would have been to block the call to your Mom's ob/gyn when she went into a difficult labor with you. Why don't you go upstairs and ask her?

  • by Arker (91948) on Thursday June 19, 2014 @09:27PM (#47278257) Homepage
    "What size of an area should you have the right to block all signals?"

    I think it's a good question, and one where law has gone a bit off it's logical wheels for commercial consideration.

    Have you ever thought about the fact that at any given moment most of us have radio signals from hundreds of different sources beaming through across our property and even through our body, without anyone ever having to ask permission?

    Now to a degree that makes sense. The benefit of having radio bandwidth available and the quite low levels of risk involved (at least as best we know) from exposure make it seem quite petty to attempt to block them completely, all the time. But it always seemed to me that at the very least, if someone is beaming a signal through my property without my permission, surely I then have a right to at least take a look at the signal. I mean, if they want it to be private, and they are sending it across my property without permission, surely at the very least it's their responsibility to encrypt and not my fault if they fail at that. I really am not the 'pirate tv' type - those people like tv - but among the few occasions when I have enjoyed it was when I used to pick up raw feeds, particularly the parts that never made it onto the regular broadcasts. The conversations people had while waiting for the signal that they were going on-air. Obviously I wasnt *intended* to see that, but it was broadcast through me and my property without my permission in a form I could read, so just how do they generate not only a right to penetrate me with radio waves as will, but even a right to force me to (figuratively, at least) close my eyes and not peek while they do it?

    IIRC there was an early precedent or two supporting that outlook, but then someone started making money selling satellite TV and saw a threat to their system and eventually got precedents to the contrary, so you have no recognized right to read their signal, even though it's being broadcast through your property against your will, and even if it's so poorly encypted as to be transparent, am I correct?

    And now this subject comes up. I know the ban on jammers is not new, of course, but this discussion of it is. And I really dont see why anyone else should have a say if I want to temporarily jam one of these signals, on my own property, for any number of reasons; as long as my jammer does not disrupt usage for those who are not on my property, how can this possibly be anyone elses concern?

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