GPS Tracker: Updates on GPS-related Legislation & FCC Activities

House Adopts THUD Amendment Barring Federal Mandates for GPS Vehicle Tracking
On June 10, the House passed its Transportation-HUD spending bill for FY 2015, including an amendment by Rep. Ted Yoho (R-FL) prohibiting the use of DOT funds to mandate GPS tracking or event data recorders in non-commercial, light-duty motor vehicles. The Senate version does not mention GPS tracking. A similar provision passed the House in the FY 2013 THUD bill but was not included in the final continuing resolution for that year. Learn more about this and other geolocation privacy legislation at

Defense Appropriations Bill Clears House with GPS Funding Increase
On June 20, the House passed its DOD spending measure for FY 2015, allocating $1.0414 billion to the Air Force GPS program. This is about $28 million above the President’s request, due to a $30 million increase in GPS III satellite procurement and a $2.09 million reduction in GPS IIF satellite procurement. The GPS IIF generation of spacecraft is launching now and GPS III will start launching in 2016. The Senate Appropriations Committee will mark up its version of the bill on July 17. For full details about GPS funding, see

FCC Plans to Fine Foreign Manufacturer $34.9M for Jammer Marketing
On June 19, the FCC announced plans to issue the largest fine in its history against C.T.S. Technology Co., Limited, a Chinese electronics manufacturer and online retailer, for allegedly marketing 285 models of signal jamming devices to U.S. customers for more than two years. The FCC applied the maximum fine allowed to each jammer model allegedly marketed by C.T.S., resulting in a planned fine of $34,912,500. Jamming devices are radio frequency transmitters that intentionally block, jam, or interfere with lawful communications, such as cell phone calls, text messages, GPS systems, and Wi-Fi networks. Jammers are illegal to market, sell, or use in the United States. Learn more at

FCC Hosts Workshop on GPS Protection and Receiver Performance
On June 20, the FCC hosted a workshop focusing on the need to protect GPS users from interference while enabling more efficient use of nearby spectrum for broadband services. FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said the event was not about imposing new standards on GPS equipment but about bringing the GPS and wireless communities together to develop solutions. Representatives from government and industry presented on the importance of GPS to public safety and critical infrastructure, including telecom systems, and discussed ways to move forward on the issue. The presentations, covering topics from E-911 and power grid timing accuracy to GPS device certification and interference studies, are available online at

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