FCC Issues Fine Over Police Radar Jammer

It isn't surprising the FCC would issue a Notice of Apparent Liability to a company manufacturing and marketing devices intended to interfere with licensed police radar systems, but how could such a device even be considered for certification under Part 15? According to the FCC Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture (DA 07-209), Rocky Mountain Radar obtained certification for the devices by representing that they were radar detectors, which are permitted under FCC rules. However, the FCC notes that RMR marketed the devices as both a radar detector and radar "scrambler," and the devices are designed to cause police radar gun receivers to fail, making them "jammers."

As a result, these devices are no longer "unintentional" radiators in the restricted 11.23 GHz frequency band, but are instead "intentional" radiators, subject to the radiated emission limits specified in Section 15.209 of the FCC rules, and cannot be certified because intentional emissions in the 11.23 GHz band are in violation of Section 15.205 of the FCC rules.

The FCC NAL states, "We find the violations here are intentional, given that RMR marketed these devices after the commission's 1997 Memorandum Opinion and Order and the subsequent Tenth Circuit Order put it on explicit notice that the marketing of these types of devices is unlawful. RMR's continuing violation of the equipment authorization requirements evinces a pattern of intentional noncompliance with, and disregard for, these rules. Accordingly, we find that an upward adjustment of $11,000 over the $14,000 base forfeiture amount is warranted. We conclude that RMR is apparently liable for a $25,000 forfeiture."

Several retailers were told the FCC may impose monetary forfeitures not to exceed $11,000 for each violation or each day of a continuing violation if they continue to market these devices after receiving the FCC citation. For links to the citations sent retailers, see the Jan. 31, 2007 FCC Daily Digest.