Are Cell Phone Jammers Illegal?

This might seem the million-dollar question but the answer is fairly simple and it varies from country to country.

Well, the short answer is that in most countries cell phone jammers are illegal whereas in some others there is no specific regulation in place or official announcement from their governments.

Anyway, let’s look at some of the major countries that have prohibited the use of cell phone jammers for the consumers, with the exception of the armed forces.

America

Jamming cell phone signals in the USA is illegal and it is seen as property theft under the Communications Act of 1934. Here’s the link for anyone who feels like giving it a read: Communications Act.

The FCC (Federal Communications Commission) explicitly prohibits the operation of any jamming equipment that interferes with authorized radio networks, such as cellular frequencies, PCS, GPS, and police radar.

The FCC states that cell phone jammers can stop you from dialing 911 or placing any other emergency call, therefore posing a serious risk to public safety. Operating one is a violation of federal law. Most of all, no exemptions apply. Not even for businesses, education facilities, or other agencies of the private sector.

Consumers aren’t allowed to operate a mobile phone jammer on the premises of their own homes. Local law enforcement agencies can get an exception under strict authorization by Federal law enforcement agencies. The use of a cellular jammer in The United States can result in a substantial monetary penalty (several thousands of dollars fine).

A notorious example of this is the Florida man who was hit with a massive fine for using a cell phone jammer on public transport with the intention of jamming fellow commuter’s signals because he couldn’t take it anymore.

Owning and using one can even lead to imprisonment. Although, this is a big one, as long as you use it in the privacy of your home or in your vehicle you should be safe.

Australia

The ACMA (Australian Communications and Media Authority) clearly states that it is illegal to use, supply, or have a mobile phone or GPS jammer or booster in Australia.

You are not allowed to use, supply, or have a mobile phone jammer as it “aids criminal and terrorist activity”. That’s the best they came up with.

India

India, unlike other major countries, has a specific regulation as it states that private sector organizations or private individuals cannot procure or use such devices in India.

The Cabinet Secretariat put up a “jammer policy” on its website, stating norms have been evolved for procurement and use of jammers by states/Union territories, defense forces, and the police.

Under the FTDR Act 1992, cell phone jammers are restricted items that can be procured upon producing a license from DGFT for importing them into India.

This is to “guard against the random proliferation of jammers as well as to ensure that cellular jammers installed do not unduly or inadvertently interfere with the existing mobile phone networks”, according to the policy.

United Kingdom

According to the Wireless Telegraphy Act 2006, anyone who deliberately interferes with wireless telegraphy, such as radio communications, is committing a crime.

If found guilty, you may be subject to a maximum of 2 years’ in prison and/or to a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum or to both.

OfCom warns that consumers are strongly discouraged from operating devices that mess with any radio communication as they may “cause you to miss a call and, at worst, they could smooth the path for criminal behavior or even put someone’s life at risk”.

Canada

According to the Radiocommunication Act, it is illegal to import, manufacture, sell, possess, and use jamming devices that disrupt the cellular frequencies in Canada.

You risk up to one year of prison or a fine up to $5,000. Only law enforcement agencies are allowed to import radio apparatus that interfere with radio communications, according to the statement on ic.gc.ca.

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