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Monday, March 5, 2012

Eric the jammer silences mobile phones on buses

Eric the jammer silences mobile phones on buses

Alissa Skelton
March 6, 2012 - 1:43PM

Eric and his mobile phone jammer. Photo: Screenshot from NBC10

This post was originally published on Mashable.

No service? Maybe you've been zapped by a mobile phone jammer.

A Philadelphia man has stirred up controversy after he frequently used a device on a public bus to create a mobile phone dead zone.

A reporter for NBC10 in Philadelphia recently tracked down the man, who was using a mobile phone jammer on the bus to block riders' phone reception. His reason — he didn't want to listen to other people's phone conversations. He says he turns on the illegal device whenever other passengers talk too loud and bother him.

The man, identified as Eric, told NBC reporters: “I guess I'm taking the law into my own hands, and quite frankly, I'm proud of it.”

A jammer typically looks similar to a walkie-talkie and has multiple antennae pointing out of the top of the device. Its job is to jam, block or interfere with wireless communication including Wi-Fi, mobile phone reception, GPS and police radar.

In the US, section 302(b) of the Communication Act of 1934 [PDF] prohibits the “marketing, sale or use” of jammers. The federal government and companies contracted to do federal work, typically related to homeland security, are the only ones permitted to use jammers. Like many uninformed people who have jammers, Eric said he thought a jammer was legal to use.

“We are troubled by the reported incident and are looking into it,” Michelle Ellison, Chief of the Federal Communication Commission Enforcement Bureau, said in an email regarding the Philadelphia incident.

Although the device is illegal, bus riders aren't the only ones who have wanted to shut people up using a jammer. The FCC has investigated the use of mobile phone jammers in schools and theatres. Some administrators apparently think a mobile phone jammer would be an easy way to stop students from using their cell phones during school hours. Theatres find mobile phone jammers appealing to prevent people from using phones during shows.


Maybe he should just Buy a Car!;) Still, some pretty cool Tec!:) And I know, I know... I came this Close... to grabbing a mobile phone out of a guys hand and tossing it across a Store. While waiting in line to check out. One day, a few years ago. I figured I could handle him... But, not the local Cops!:O So, I did the Smart thing and just gave him a hard Stare, until it was my turn to check out... 


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