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FCC Stings Craigslisted Jammers

WASHINGTON: A federal sweep of Craigslist has yielded several citations for illegal cellular signal jammers. The Federal Communications Commission has issued six citations for jamming devices offered on the classifieds website. A total of 23 ads were targeted by the commission’s Enforcement Bureau in “aggressive undercover operations,” the agency said.

“Merely posting a signal hammer ad on sites like violates federal law,” said Enforcement Bureau Chief Michele Ellison. “Signal jammers are contraband for a reason.”

I.e., according to the citations, “Jamming devices, such as cellphone hammers and GPS blockers, pose serious risks to critical publicsafety communications and can prevent individuals from making 9-1-1 and other emergency calls.”

The Bureau has released an Enforcement Advisory warning that the use or import of signal hammers can incur fines exceeding $100,000, criminal sanctions and possibly imprisonment. Targeted devices block cellphone signals, Wi-Fi networks, global positioning systems and emergency responder communications.

George Conde, who posted an ad for a signal jammer on the Corpus, Christi, Texas Craiglist, and five others who received citations were told to stop advertising the devices for sale “in the United States through Craigslist or through any other means,” to stop operating them and to hand over their inventory. The five included Jason Carpenter of Dancing Bear Technologies, in Tupelo, Miss.; John A. Bering, listed in Cincinnati; Keith Grabowsky, in Philadelphia; Joseph Hundley, Charlotte, N.C.; and Scott Sandlin, Austin, Texas.

Sandlin offered a cellphone jammer with a car charger for $45 in a Craigslist ad reading:

“Imagine how you can finally have a good undisturbed nap on your way in the bus. With
this personal cellphone blocker you can prevent the use of cellphones in your car, class
rooms, office, home, theaters and so on. This model will block cellphones on the
radius of up to 10 meter or 32 ft (depending on the mobile service provider’s network

In each case, FCC Enforcement Bureau staff members responded to the ads and confirmed the availability of the devices. Prices ranged from $45 to $500. Ellison said the Bureau would continue to monitor Craigslist and other possible online outlets.

The commission has set up a toll free tip line for reporting illegal signal hammers, 1-855-5556-6526 (1-855-55-NOJAM).