Electronics vendor is accused of selling signal jammers to U.S.
A Chinese electronics vendor is accused of selling signal jammers to U.S. consumers and could end up leading the market in one dubious measure: the largest fine ever imposed by the Federal Communications Commission.
The FCC wants to impose fines upon CTS Technology of $34,912,500 for allegedly marketing 285 different 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. 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, not airing children’s shows, 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.
Selling, buying or using a wireless signal jammer is illegal in the U.S. for everyone except law enforcement agencies. They’re a direct danger to public safety because they can prevent citizens from making 911 calls and first responders from communicating in emergencies, the FCC says. It regularly cracks down on jammer sellers and users. But CTS so far leads the pack in proposed punishment, with the FCC applying the maximum fine for each jammer model the company allegedly marketed.
CTS has 30 days to respond to the allegations or pay the $34.9 million. In past actions against violators based overseas, the FCC has used procedures under the Hague Service Convention, a 1965 multilateral treaty.
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