Amazon, other retailers under FCC investigation for selling jammers

The Federal Communications Commission confirmed to NBC News that it’s investigating Amazon and other retailers allegedly marketing and selling radio frequency jammers. Criminals use such devices to disable wireless home security systems.

The FCC usually keeps quiet about ongoing investigations. However, NBC News found nine independent sellers on Amazon selling so-called “jammer” devices despite them being illegal.

In a statement, the FCC answered that they “have several ongoing investigations into retailers, including Amazon, for potential violations of Commission rules related to the marketing and sale of equipment without proper FCC authorization.”

Jammers in the United States are banned by the FCC, as they can prevent people from making 911 and other emergency calls, pose serious risks to public safety communications, and interfere with other forms of day-to-day communications.

“Federal law prohibits the operation, marketing, or sale of any type of jamming equipment that interferes with authorized radio communications, including cellular and Personal Communication Services (PCS), police radar, and Global Positioning Systems (GPS),” FCC explains in its website.

It is unlawful to advertise, sell, distribute, import, or otherwise market jamming devices to consumers in the US.

Amazon didn’t immediately respond to media requests for comment. However, all nine listings found by NBC News on Amazon disappeared after the inquiry was sent.

Cybernews recently reported on police suspicions that jammers were used by the burglars in a series of robberies in Edina, Minneapolis. The jammers, which can be easily acquired online, usually priced at between $40 to $1,000, can disableWi-Fi cameras, doors, windows, and motion sensors.

Jammer devices also have military uses, serving purposes such as anti-drone defense or inducing interference in the flight controls of rockets or aircraft.

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