N.J. man fined $32K for illegal GPS device that disrupted Newark airport system

 
--
If you don't know where you are going, you might wind up someplace else. - Yogi Berra

Causes some concern ...

FTA:
"Satellite technology is the basic component of the FAA’s planned NextGen national air traffic control system to replace an antiquated radar-based system. Implementation of NextGen is a multiyear, multibillion project in its infant stages."

Seems like it's a bit too easy to mess with the signals.

More info--

This was also written up in a communications law blog I follow--

http://www.commlawblog.com/2013/08/articles/enforcement-acti...

On the technical side, jamming GPS signals isn't difficult; it doesn't take very much power, particularly considering the received signals from the GPS birds are effectively below the noise level.

Jamming GPS is a really, really bad idea -- there are government entities that have ways of dealing with GPS jammers, getting them to cease operation quickly, loudly, and definitively.

And then there's the FCC -- as the CommLawBlog article points out, the FCC fined him for:
(1) interfering with authorized communications (GPS signals),
(2) use of unauthorized equipment (the GPS jammer), and
(3) operating without a license (using the GPS jammer).

On this last one, regulatory wonks continue to scratch their heads, as it's not possible to *get* a license from the FCC to operate a GPS jammer, so how is this last offense even possible?

Well, it's possible because the FCC said so, and nobody has taken them to court on this particular method of jacking up fines, yet.

Don't mess with GPS, and don't mess with the FCC!

--
Nuvi 2460, 680, DATUM Tymserve 2100, Trimble Thunderbolt, Ham radio, Macintosh, Linux, Windows

...

It took a long time for the FCC to find this guy, using a lot of technical equipment. GPS World magazine had a full description of the case. They only found him because he was returning to the same area on a regular basis.

this one wasn't the first

telecomdigest2 wrote:

It took a long time for the FCC to find this guy, using a lot of technical equipment. GPS World magazine had a full description of the case. They only found him because he was returning to the same area on a regular basis.

This man wasn't the first to be caught and fined, they have caught many long-haul drivers and others for the same thing. What made this particular case so noteworthy was it affected a new aviation system directly. The others over the years have messed with some radars and communications systems, but they like this idiot, were on regular routes that kept going by the same places.

--
Illiterate? Write for free help.

OOPS

I have to take the FCC position on this case.
When one uses a frequency blocker then one has to be held responsible for its action.
This person put his blocker at the airport which could have endangered airline traffic. DUMB ONE.
I see this person trying to hide his/hers discretion's and could have endangered airline passengers.

so...

Box Car wrote:
telecomdigest2 wrote:

It took a long time for the FCC to find this guy, using a lot of technical equipment. GPS World magazine had a full description of the case. They only found him because he was returning to the same area on a regular basis.

This man wasn't the first to be caught and fined, they have caught many long-haul drivers and others for the same thing. What made this particular case so noteworthy was it affected a new aviation system directly. The others over the years have messed with some radars and communications systems, but they like this idiot, were on regular routes that kept going by the same places.

--What else was it that the truckers on the freeway were impacting while on their routes. As far as airports which which are now using this technology, the article seems to be only talking about an airport in New Jersey, and maybe one down in Texas. --What else is there?

--
~Jim~ Nuvi-660, & Nuvi-680

What constitutes a long time

What constitutes a long time to find him? A week? A month, a year?

It's illegal to jam other people's signal.

kurzemnieks wrote:

I have to take the FCC position on this case.
When one uses a frequency blocker then one has to be held responsible for its action.
This person put his blocker at the airport which could have endangered airline traffic. DUMB ONE.
I see this person trying to hide his/hers discretion's and could have endangered airline passengers.

There's no sides, no position to take. It's illegal to jam other people's signal.

now hold on a minute

Steevo wrote:
kurzemnieks wrote:

I have to take the FCC position on this case.
When one uses a frequency blocker then one has to be held responsible for its action.
This person put his blocker at the airport which could have endangered airline traffic. DUMB ONE.
I see this person trying to hide his/hers discretion's and could have endangered airline passengers.

There's no sides, no position to take. It's illegal to jam other people's signal.

I have been told that some transit-district commuter-buses are jamming cell phone signals to keep people off their phones while riding, in order to keep it quieter on the bus. I'm definitely not in favor of them doing this, and I am really not trying to raise the issue of whether is is rude to be on your phone while on a public conveyance.

My question is whether it's illegal to block other people's signal, or not???

--
nightrider --Nuvi's 660 & 680--

yes

Yes, it's illegal to deliberately interfere with a transmission from a licensed source. Most of these "jammers" that are sold do not block only one or two frequencies, they can and do block wide swaths of spectrum at the same time. I think your story about the bus company is just that, a story. Cellular phones operate near the same frequencies as many police and fire radios as well as commercial two-way radios. If a bus was operating a "blocker" they would interfere with any radio nearby operating on channels close to those used by cell phones. That doesn't mean you can't install shields, you can. Hotels do this quite often in their meeting and conference facilities to sell Internet access. They shield the room from outside signals and broadcast only their own Wi-Fi signals.

--
Illiterate? Write for free help.

well said

kurzemnieks wrote:

I have to take the FCC position on this case.
When one uses a frequency blocker then one has to be held responsible for its action.
This person put his blocker at the airport which could have endangered airline traffic. DUMB ONE.
I see this person trying to hide his/hers discretion's and could have endangered airline passengers.

Well said - agree with you 100 percent.

--
Garmin Drive Smart 61 NA LMT-S

WOW

simply wow

--
[URL=http://www.speedtest.net][IMG]http://www.speedtest.net/result/693683800.png[/IMG][/URL]

range and integrity

I'll defer to k6rtm on these points, but for those less clued-in on this subject a couple of points may be worth making:

1. While it takes very little signal strength to overwhelm the GPS signal in a particular location, by the same token such effects are extremely local unless the jammer is higher power than needed for local effect--so the airliner flying by at 35,000 feet is very unlikely to have signal loss from a jammer designed to disrupt signal reception a few feet away from the point of operation.

2. Serious GPS systems (not ours, but military and aviation) generally include schemes intended to detect whether valid signal is being received, and to switch the navigation function to rely on something else good enough for short-term updates when integrity is lost. For example, a JDAM bomb guidance kit which loses good GPS guidance near target for any reason just keeps on truckin' using a cheap strap-down inertial nav module--which has way too much drift for long-term use, but is plenty good enough to guide a 2000 pound bomb already zeroed in on a target through the last few hundred feet.

--
personal GPS user since 1992

I believe virtually all GPS

I believe virtually all GPS units have an antenna that favors signals from above. For portable units, the directionality is not that great. But airborne antennas are better designed and typically mounted on the roof of the aircraft. Both of those make it harder to see down. Doesn't mean it cannot be jammed from the ground - just means you need a stronger jammer or the aircraft needs to be much closer.

Position

Steevo wrote:

There's no sides, no position to take. It's illegal to jam other people's signal.

Didn't you just take a position?
In the US it is illegal for private citizens to jam radio signals but not in England.
A friend of mine came back from there with a cell phone blocker which will silence phones within 50 feet of it. He uses it when he goes out to dinner or movies so that he will not be bothered.

GPS

I retired as a commercial airline pilot for a major airline. Most airliners today are navigated with GPS and Inertial Navigation systems. That is a simplistic way to look at it, but various systems interact to make navigating very accurate. Messing with GPS is a big deal and is not tolerated.

--
Dudlee

driver mus think his employer is stupid

Jam the GPS and the employer is going to think the GPS unit in the car is broken. How long before the employer would have figured out the driver was playing games.

The only truck which isn't properly showing its location is this bozos.

that hurts

32k is more than a months pay, ouch.