How to hide your gadget when it goes through the FCC

So I had an interesting experience today. I was trying to find the FCC paperwork for the Pocket Edge, and I found a new way for somebody to hide their gadgets from public view. There are a number of ways to keep it secret. The most basic is that you can request that certain documents (photos, diagrams, etc) be kept form the public, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Amazon takes this a step further. Each time they send a Kindle through the FCC, they have created a separate fictitious Delaware corporation (and then had the pictures hidden). I’ve never actually found one of their dummy corporations before they announced a new Kindle, but I’m working on it.

The new trick I learned today is used by Foxconn. You probably know the name; they assemble electronics for everyone from Apple to Amazon to Entourage. What Foxconn does is so clever that I’m surprised more companies don’t copy them.

You see, in addition to assembling hardware Foxconn will also submit your device to the FCC on your behalf. Get this: they don’t submit the device. Instead they submit just the component that actively transmits (Wifi, 3G, Bluetooth, etc). So even if you figure out which filing is for which device you’ll never actually see the gadget. All that will ever show up in the paperwork is the module.

Let me give you an example. I searched for the FCC paperwork for the Entourage Edge and this is what  found. Check out the external photos.

When it comes to keeping secrets, this cannot be beat. I’m really surprised that Amazon aren’t doing it this way.

Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills weekly. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.

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