FCC issues wallet-burning $34.9 million fine to Chinese retailer for selling signal jammers

fcc issues 34 9 million fine company selling signal jammers cell phone jammer

The Federal Communications Commission has issued a whopping $34.9 million fine, its largest ever, to Chinese online retailer CTS Technology.

The FCC alleges that CTS Technology marketed nearly 300 signal jammers in the United States over more than two years. It is illegal to advertise, sell, and operate a signal jammer in the United States due to its ability to block 911 and other emergency calls, as well as communication between law enforcement. According to the FCC, CTS Technology also lied to consumers by saying that the signal jammers were approved by the FCC for consumer use.

The jammers, 10 of which were sold to FCC personnel, were allegedly able to block cell signals, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, satellite radio, and GPS, among others. Some jammers were even effective up to half a mile away. Regardless, the FCC doesn’t take the sale of signal jammers lightly.

“Signal jammers present a direct danger to public safety, potentially blocking the communications of first responders,” said FCC enforcement bureau active chief Travis LeBlanc in a statement.

Along with the $34.9 million fine, the maximum penalty that can be issued for such an offense, CTS Technology is ordered to halt the sale and marketing of signal jammers in the United States. Lastly, the online retailer is ordered to hand over information about those who purchased signal jammers from it. CTS Technology can appeal the the fine or ask for a reduction, though it will have to pay up within 30 days if it doesn’t do so.

The FCC seems to take signal jammers very seriously. Earlier this year, it fined a man $48,000 for using one while on the highway. At least he wasn’t fined $34.9 million, however.


With a 48-inch screen, this futuristic dashboard is like nothing else

Chinese startup Byton traveled to CES 2019 to unveil a new version of its electric concept that's closer to series production. It has the largest screen ever fitted to a production vehicle.
Emerging Tech

The best 3D printers for 2019

On the hunt for a new 3D printer? We've got your back. Whether you're a beginner or a seasoned veteran, this list of the best 3D printers has what you're looking for.

New year, better sleep: Refresh your bedroom with these mattress, bedding deals

Many of the most popular online mattress retailers are hosting New Year's sales, with items listed for hundreds of dollars off the regular prices. We've collected the top discounts from Casper, Nectar, Purple, and more.

Having problems with your Xbox One console? We have the solutions

The Xbox One has evolved over the years, but so have its problems. Thankfully, we have solutions for some of the console's most enduring problems, whether you're experiencing issues with connectivity or your discs.

The most expensive Galaxy S10 could be the priciest Galaxy phone we've seen

Not long now; with 2019 underway, the Samsung Galaxy S10 is almost here. Before it arrives, here's absolutely everything you need to know about all three of Samsung's next flagships.

Yes, Android apps can run on your PC, and it's easier than you think

Wish you knew how to run Android apps in Windows? It's easier than you might think and there are a number of different ways to do it. In this guide, we break down the steps so you can follow along with ease.
Emerging Tech

CES 2019 recap: All the trends, products, and gadgets you missed

CES 2019 didn’t just give us a taste of the future, it offered a five-course meal. From 8K and Micro LED televisions to smart toilets, the show delivered with all the amazing gadgetry you could ask for. Here’s a look at all the big…

Unleash your inner artist with the best drawing apps for the iPad Pro

The best drawing apps for the iPad Pro turn Apple's robust tablet into a canvas worthy of a true artist. Here are 20 of our current favorites, whether you're looking to keep things simple or take your art to the next level.

Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2019: Complete Coverage

There's no bigger show for mobile tech geeks than Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain: where flagship phones are born and intriguing new wearables shine. And this year, where foldable phones and 5G are likely to dominate the news. For…

C you soon? Rumors swirl of a USB-C port on 2019 iPhones

While it's not been long since the last iPhones launched, rumors for the next iPhone are already surfacing. Apple's 2019 flagship could include a variety of upgrades ranging from a new design to enhanced features.

Biometric phone unlocks can’t be forced by feds, says U.S. judge

Fingerprint and face unlocks used to not be protected by the Fifth Amendment, but that may soon change. A judge in California has ruled biometric unlocking methods of all kinds are protected in the same way as passcodes.

The Note 8 and S8 range now have access to the Android Pie beta

Android 9.0 Pie has been released. But is your phone getting Android 9.0 Pie, and if so, when? We've done the hard work and asked every device manufacturer to see when their devices would be getting the update.

The Motorola Razr may return as a foldable phone — for $1,500

The Motorola Razr V3 is one of the world's most iconic phones, and it could be making a stylistic return in the form of a foldable Motorola smartphone -- but it may cost around $1,500. Is the nostalgia worth it?

The iPhone XS Battery Case's battery has a smaller capacity than previous cases

Apple has been rumored to be working on a new iPhone battery case for the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR. Now, those new cases are finally here, offering seven hours of extra use for each iPhone and are available for $129.