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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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  • 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 DaHat (247651)

      Have you forgotten all of the carve outs in various laws which make it legal for law enforcement to do/own things that your average civilian is prohibited from?

      You and I can't legally run red lights or drive faster than the posted speed... but when a cop turns on his lights, they can.

    • What makes your think the police agencies are using radio receivers to listen to phone conversations?
      Phones transmit with the least amount of power required to reach the cell tower. The cell tower uses directional antennas to transmit only in the required direction to get back to the cellphone.

      You'd need to be very close to your subject to get anything.

      Much easier to listen at the wire/fibre level. No FCC required there either.

      • Ever heard of a Stingray? The police have been using them like hotcakes all over the country. The feds even went as far as to raid a police station who was going to release a FOIA request about their use. Long story short, they emulate a cell phone tower and trick the "target" handset into connecting to it. It's a hardware MITM over the cell network. Highly illegal, violates a number of laws and FCC regulations. Of course, those are perfectly fine since it's the power elite using them against YOU. Yo

        • It wouldn't be illegal as far as the FCC is concerned if they got the permission of the cell carrier.

  • This means I have to go back to carrying around a microwave oven and a car battery doesn't it?

  • by msobkow (48369) on Thursday June 19, 2014 @07:20PM (#47277409) Homepage Journal

    They were advertising and selling openly. I fail to see how any kind of "sting" operation was required to trick them into selling the illegal hardware, or to catch them doing it.

  • by Xenolith0 (808358) on Thursday June 19, 2014 @07:25PM (#47277433) Homepage
    http://transition.fcc.gov/eb/Orders/ [fcc.gov]

    To see others the FCC has gone after, check out their website. Some of them are really interest; such as:

    $49K for this guy: http://www.fcc.gov/document/48k-penalty-proposed-against-individual-cell-jammer-investigation-0 [fcc.gov]

    http://transition.fcc.gov/eb/Orders/2014/FCC-14-26A1.html [fcc.gov] Thiscompany got dinged 29K for operating a cell phone jammer in their warehouse.

  • Any large company with knowledge of how to do business in America would have known to invest a little in lobbying and campaign contributions.

    • by ruir (2709173)
      Best comment I have read on this thread! Pity I have already spent my mod points...
  • Why do they need the names of everyone who bought one of these? Is it illegal to own one? What if I bought one because it was just the right size and weight for a doorstop?

  • When sued -

    0. stall plaintiff
    1. transfer assets to a new shell company
    2. closed down old shell company
    3. rinse and repeat

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from a rigged demo. - Andy Finkel, computer guy

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