Even though it is commonly believed that cell phone frequency jamming technology is illegal in the United States, there exists no federal statues or regulations that specifically addresses the issue. However, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the Department of State (DOS) use a few federal statutes, and regulations based on international treaties, to enforce a ban on behalf of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), a specialized agency of the United Nations (UN).
Title 47 USC § 333

  • § 333 (Willful or malicious interference)

"No person shall willfully or maliciously interfere with or cause interference to any radio communications of any station licensed or authorized by or under this chapter or operated by the United States Government."

The FCC has the authority to enforce this federal statute pursuant to Title 47 CFR §§ 97 (Amateur Radio Service) & 80 (Stations in the Maritime Services); the Agreement Between the United States of America and Canada for the Promotion of Safety on the Great Lakes by Means of Radio; and the International Convention for Safety of Life at Sea, 1974.

Title 47 USC § 302a(a)(1)

  • § 302a(a)(1) (Devices which interfere with radio reception; Regulations)

"The Commission may, consistent with the public interest, convenience, and necessity, make reasonable regulations governing the interference potential of devices which in their operation are capable of emitting radio frequency energy by radiation, conduction, or other means in sufficient degree to cause harmful interference to radio communications."

The FCC has the authority to enforce this federal statute pursuant to Title 47 CFR §§ 76 (Multichannel Video and Cable Television Service), 15 (Radio Frequency Devices) & 2 (Frequency Allocations and Radio Treaty Matters; General Rules and Regulations); and ITU Radio Regulations.

FCC Wireless Telecommunications Bureau

  • On January 2, 2009, the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau of the FCC issued a Special Temporary Authorization pursuant to Title 47 CFR §§ 0.331 (Authority delegated) & 0.131 (Functions of the Bureau) which is believed to have given the Department of Corrections of the District of Columbia permission to use cell phone frequency jamming technology.

Department of State