CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - One of the top 10 google searches recently was "cell phone jammer".
Did you hear about the person on a public bus in Philadelphia that rendered the bus quiet? He used a cell phone jamming device so no phones would work. Sounds like a cute stunt and maybe even a peaceful respite but is that legal or even safe to do that?
For roughly $50 for a cheap one or $1000 or more, you can purchase a device that lets you stop those phone calls dead. WBTV's cyber expert, Theresa Payton, explains the issues.
WHY YOU SHOULD NOT DO THIS:
1. It's illegal - you can go to jail for this
2. You may be doing more than quieting phones, you might be interrupting emergency or law enforcement communications
3. The blocking could have jammed the bus driver's ability to communicate with the dispatcher on duty
HOW IT WORKS:
1. The "jammer" sends a signal on the same frequency as mobile phones in the area
2. The frequency blocks the traffic from coming and going
This is a serious issue with a lot of questions still unanswered as to how legal it is, even for official groups, to use this technology. The FCC has been asked to question whether or not San Francisco' Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) legally had the authority to purposely shut down cell networks last summer in fear of planned protests.
The FCC is accepting public comments on cell phone jamming you can read more about that here.
Comments to the FCC can be electronically submitted here:
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