FCC Enforces GPS Jammer Prohibition

 maritime safety news  Comments Off on FCC Enforces GPS Jammer Prohibition
Apr 132011

Portable, easily concealed GPS jammers like this are a potential threat

The US Federal Communications Commission, FCC,has issued an advisory regarding a prohibition on the sale of jamming devices, including those which can interefer with GPS equipment. The advisory come amid growing concrn regarding GPS vulnerability

Says the FCC:”In order to prevent harmful interference to critical public safety communications and authorized radio services, federal law prohibits the marketing and sale of “jammers,” i.e., equipment designed to intentionally block, jam, or interfere with licensed or authorized radio communications. This longstanding prohibition applies to any type of jamming equipment, including devices that interfere with cellular and Personal Communications Services (PCS), police radar, Global Positioning Systems (GPS), and wireless networking services (Wi-Fi).


“Jammers not only disrupt authorized radio services, but also jeopardize critical public safety communications, such as 9-1-1 calls, and could compromise law enforcement efforts. Ensuring the public’s access to these vital services is critically important, and the Enforcement Bureau is committed to strict enforcement in this area.

“Recently, for example, the Bureau: issued seven citations requiring well-known online retailers of cell phone jammers to come into immediate compliance; two launched a proceeding to revoke the equipment authorization for a device that is being marketed in the United States as a text stopper;3 and initiated a $25,000 forfeiture proceeding against Phonejammer.com for marketing cell phone jammers in the United States. 4 A complete list of jammer enforcement actions is available at www.fcc.gov/eb/jammerenforcement.

Other GPS stories:

The Sun Has Got His Spat On…

GPS: Do You Need To Fix Those Fixes?

Sat Maintenance May Degrade GPS Performance

GPS Hacking May Sink Ships

Where’s the GPS Gone?

GPS Losing Its Way?

Zombie GPS

GPS Hacking May Sink Ships

 AIS, ECDIS, navigation, news  Comments Off on GPS Hacking May Sink Ships
Feb 232010

22km difference - results of a jammed GPS

On the left is a picture from an experiment carried out in 2008 by Alan Grant of the UK’s General Lighthouse Authorities. A vessel’s GPS receiver is reporting its position 22km away from its true position because it has been jammed by a device almost anyone can buy off the internet.

The question is probably not will a major incident involve a GPS jammed vessel but when. It highlights the need for seafarers to be familiar with, and competent in, traditional methods of navigation.

Continue reading »