Public Safety

A drone attack using explosives, chemical agents, or another means on the American public—or a catastrophic interference with first responders—is inevitable based upon actual occurrences and the latest threat information and advisories from the U.S government highlighted below. Over the past few years, there have been innumerable reports of drones posing a threat to public safety.

Problem Statement

With few exceptions, the FCC does not allow the use of a device to “jam” communication signals, even if it is to disrupt or disable a drone by a law enforcement officer to protect public safety. Two applicable FCC Regulations are as follows:

“Sale or Use of Transmitters Designed to Prevent, Jam or Interfere with Cell Phone Communications is Prohibited in the United States, Public Notice, DA 05-1776 (2005). “

Office Of Engineering and Technology and Compliance and Information Bureau Warn Against the Manufacture, Importation, Marketing or Operation of Transmitters Designed to Prevent or Otherwise Interfere with Cellular Radio Communications, Public Notice, DA 99-2150 (1999).”

Applicable Law

  • The Communications Act of 1934
    • Section 301 – requires persons operating or using radio transmitters to be licensed or authorized under the Commission’s rules (47 U.S.C. § 301)
    • Section 302(b) – prohibits the manufacture, importation, marketing, sale or operation of these devices within the United States (47 U.S.C. § 302a(b))
    • Section 333 – prohibits willful or malicious interference with the radio communications of any station licensed or authorized under the Act or operated by the U.S. Government (47 U.S.C. § 333)
    • Section 503 – allows the FCC to impose forfeitures for willful or repeated violations of the Communications Act, the Commission’s rules, regulations, or related orders, as well as for violations of the terms and conditions of any license, certificate, or other Commission authorization, among other things.
    • Sections 510 – allows for seizure of unlawful equipment (47 U.S.C. § 510)
  • The Commission’s Rules
    • Section 2.803 – prohibits the manufacture, importation, marketing, sale or operation of these devices within the United States (47 C.F.R. § 2.803)
    • Section 2.807 – provides for certain limited exceptions, such as the sale to U.S. government users (47 C.F.R. § 2.807)
  • The Criminal Code(Enforced by the Department of Justice)
    • Title 18, Section 1362 – prohibits willful or malicious interference to US government communications; subjects the operator to possible fines, imprisonment, or both (18 U.S.C. § 1362)
    • Title 18, Section 1367(a) – prohibits intentional or malicious interference to satellite communications; subjects the operator to possible fines, imprisonment, or both (18 U.S.C. § 1367(a)).

Conflict Issues

FCC regulations that prohibit the sale and use of a jammer even if all of the applicable requirements identified in the subsections of part 15 are in compliance.

ANY device that transmits signals in these bands that disrupt the communication between a transmitter and a receiver, in this case a Operator and a Drone, by any organization other than military and a few other federal agencies, is not allowed.

The Solution

FCC regulations must be changed to allow first responders and other agencies to use a device protect the public or to thwart the use of Drones for illegal purposes.

Please contact your Representatives in Congress in support of such FCC changes.