The FCC’s Herculean Task

The FCC has a nearly impossible duty that seems to be growing out of control, stopping the sale and usage of signal jammers. Somehow I missed the story when it was in the FCC daily digest last month but this week I saw it in this article from IN Compliance magazine.

Last month the FCC issued a citation to for selling GPS jammers, FCC Citation No.: C201132340002. Clearly the Chinese owners of the site have no intention of complying with US law since they are still offering many different jammers at All of the products offered on those two pages are illegal to import, sell or use in the USA and most, if not all, other countries.

A Google Search for the product description from the citation yields 75,500 results and most of the top results are sites that will sell you the illegal device. I can not think of any legitimate use for a GPS jammer and the comments at DealExtreme’s Product Forum clearly show why people would buy these devices.

it’s great for stealing tracked trucks, and ‘sell’ them back latter

From Taylor73: My job uses a handheld device that has a L1 GPS device within it. Most of the time I’m pretty honest but every now and then I leave work early or might be late to where I’m supposed to be.

So, as far as I can see the people who buy and use these devices are either criminals or dishonest employees looking to screw over their employer. It seems to me that straight forward fairly simple statistical analysis of the data collected by the employer can discover the fraudulent activity of the employee. So I wouldn’t be surprised if Taylor73 is looking for a job in the near future.

Here are a few older posts of mine about jammers:

Quack Miranda Warning

In case you aren’t aware, the Quack Miranda Warning takes the form of:

These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to treat, cure or prevent any disease.

This statement is required on health products when the manufacturer and seller either are unable or unwilling to show the product is useful the way normal health products show their usefulness. It provides the manufacturer/seller some immunity from legal liability. So to protect your health and/or prevent wasting money on useless products all you have to do is avoid buying any product that bears this warning. Be aware that, like all fine print meant to protect undeserved profits, this warning will be in a tiny font in the most obscure location of a page.

It used to be that you’d only see this warning on diet pills, weird vitamins and other things you’d ingest. This warning has worked so well at limiting liability that pretty much all useless products relating to health in any way shape or form now include the warning. Case in point, xZubi, the warning is in the smallest font at the bottom of the home page.

I find the easiest way to check for the warning is to search any suspect page for the phrase “evaluated by the FDA” (Firefox & Internet Explorer, press Control+F to search a page) .  I hope this information helps you avoid wasting money or damaging your health, Happy New Year 2011.