Man Fined For Blocking GPS Signal
With so many businesses now equipping company owned vehicles with GPS trackers in a effort to improve fleet management and vehicle security it is no surprise that some of the employees driving those automobiles would feel that their privacy was being infringed upon. Unfortunately, not agreeing with the measures an employer uses to monitor vehicle driving activity is no excuse for taking matters into your own hands. This is exactly what a Hunterdon resident learned the hard way when the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) fined him over $30,000 for using a GPS jammer system to conceal his driving activity from his boss. Devices that block or interfere with GPS signals are illegal because so much communication today is dependent on the satellite technology. This is why after an investigation determined that the GPS jammer Gary Bojczak used to hide from his employer played a role in messing with the operation of the Newark Liberty International Airport monitoring communications the hefty penalty was assessed. The fine may be large but in reality Bojczak is lucky he did not face any jail time because of his actions. The reason is that GPS jammers not only stop vehicle tracking devices from acquiring signals, but also disrupt those working in air traffic control from receiving pivotal locational data regarding where a plane is in the sky or on the runway. The investigation began after the FCC received a formal complaint from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) that its Ground Based Augmentation System (GBAS) experienced interference at the Newark Liberty airport. This tracking system is crucial to helping air traffic controllers by providing accurate navigational data that is used in airplane landings, takeoffs and essentially any other movements that occur in or around an airport. With the assistance of radio monitoring equipment, what investigators discovered was that in early August of 2012 a red pick-up truck located on airport property was sending out signals using a frequency that was restricted by law due to its ability to interfere with the GBAS. The evidence led investigators to Bojczak who admitted to using a GPS jammer to hide from his employer who connected a GPS tracker on his work truck. Bojczak was forthcoming with investigators and handed over the GPS jammer without protest. Although the GPS jammer sent out a signal whose frequency interfered with the GBAS, investigators stated that at no point in time were any flights in danger at the Newark airport. Technology in the workplace is becoming more and more commonplace whether it be surveillance cameras, computer software programs that monitor online activity or GPS vehicle tracker devices.