FCC Issues Citation to Washington Company for Selling, Importing Unauthorized RF Devices
On July 28, the FCC issued a Citation to The Spy Store for marketing unauthorized radio frequency devices. According to the Commission, these devices were in violation of the Communications Act of 1934, As Amended and the Commission's Rules, as well as United States Customs and Border Patrol regulations.
On February 13, the Spectrum Enforcement Division of the Commission's Enforcement Bureau sent Spy Store a Letter of Inquiry, initiating an investigation. The FCC wanted to know if the Washington State company was marketing an unauthorized radio frequency device, specifically, the GPS-JM2 GPS Jammer. According to the Citation, the FCC observed that the device was marketed on the retailer's Web site on September 4, 2008. The device jams signals emitted by a GPS transmitter, disabling a receiver from finding the location.
Spy Store responded to the Letter of Inquiry on March 2, telling the FCC that they began selling the GPS-JM2 GPS Jammer on or about July 31, 2007; they have sold 69 units. In its reply, the company told the FCC that they began importing the devices beginning in 2007, with subsequent deliveries continuing into 2008, for a total of 90 units delivered. Spy Store told the FCC that "the importation of GPS-JM2 was discontinued once [they] became aware that the units were unlawful in the USA."
Even though Spy Store imported GPS-JM2 GPS Jammers on five different occasions, they did not file any FCC Form 740s for the imported units; before radio frequency devices may be imported to the United States, an FCC Form 740 (or the electronic equivalent) must be filed with the United States Customs and Border Patrol. The company admitted to the Commission that the device was not certified in accordance with FCC Rules, but stated that the Chinese supplier advised them that "it was lawful to offer this unit for sale and as such, took no further efforts to determine if the device complied with the Rules."
The FCC noted that Spy Store explained that they "would not have offered, marketed or sold the GPS-JM2 GPS Jammer had [they] known it was an unlawful device." Spy Store also told the Commission that they no longer offer or market any other jamming devices and have ceased all marketing and sales of the GPS-JM2 GPS Jammer and have disposed all of the remaining units.
The FCC said "it appears that Spy Store violated Section 302(b) of the Act and Sections 2.803 and 15.205(a) of the Rules by marketing in the United States a radio frequency device not eligible for certification. It also appears that Spy Store violated Section 2.1203 of the Rules by importing the GPS-JM2 GPS Jammer without making the required import declaration."
Spy Store was warned that "if, after receipt of this citation, you violate the Communications Act or the Commission's Rules in any manner described herein, the Commission may impose monetary forfeitures not to exceed $16,000 for each such violation or each day of a continuing violation. The company was given 30 days to respond to the Citation either through a personal interview at the Commission's Field Office nearest to their place of business or a written statement. Spy Store was advised that any response should specify the actions that they are taking to ensure that they do not violate the Commission's Rules governing the marketing of radio frequency jamming devices in the future.