Is there a signal? Maybe you are hit by a cell phone jammer. A Philadelphia man caused controversy after frequently using public bus devices to create dead zones for mobile phones.
NBC10 reporter in Philadelphia recently tracked a person who used a cell phone jammer on a bus to prevent drivers from receiving calls. His reason-he didn't want to hear someone else's phone. He said he would open illegal equipment if other passengers were noisy and disturbed.
A man named Eric told an NBC reporter: "I think I have a law. Frankly, I'm proud of it."
Interfering devices usually resemble transceivers and have multiple antennas pointing to the top of the device. Its job is to interfere with, prevent, or interfere with wireless communications such as WiFi, cell phone reception, GPS, police radar, etc.
Section 302 (b) of the Telecommunications Act of 1934 prohibits "marketing, selling, or using" portable jammer. Federal government and companies responsible for federal operations, usually related to internal safety, can only use jammers. Like many disturbers, Eric said the disturbers were legal.
Michelle Ellison, director of law enforcement for the Federal Communications Commission, said in an email about the Philadelphia case:
Devices are illegal, but bus drivers aren't the only disturbers trying to silence people. The FCC investigated the use of mobile phone jammers in schools and theaters. Some admins seem to think that using mobile phone jammers is an easy way to prevent students from using their mobile phones during class hours. Mobile phone jammers are very popular in theaters to prevent people from using the show during the show.
"Some people who use jammers think they can only silence conversations loudly or disable unwanted GPS tracking, but a scared teen calls 911. You can also prevent older people from calling or calling doctors. They are looking for a place of serious injury, "Ellison said. "A moment of peace or privacy of a person can be the security and happiness of others."
Interfering waves are a problem because they block unlicensed frequencies that are not interfering waves, and it is illegal to interfere with unlicensed frequencies. Interfering devices can block signals in the range of tens to hundreds of feet. The FCC is most concerned about jammers. These jammers prevent emergency personnel from communicating with the caller.
Americans usually buy jammers online. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has attempted to prevent other countries from selling and transmitting sabotage devices to the United States, but emails have been leaked on occasions of sabotage. The United Kingdom, Canada, Switzerland and Australia are also not allowed to use mobile phone jammers.
In October 2011, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) warned 20 online retailers to ban the sale and marketing of interference signals to Americans. However, Google's quick search allows Americans to order mobile phone jammers online.
Ellison said in a press release: "Our actions should send a powerful message to the disturbers that they do not tolerate continued violations of federal law."
The United States tries to prevent interference, but it can manufacture and export programs that block networks in the United States. The FCC said it was unaware of the mobile phone jammer breach in the United States.