NBC10 in Philadelphia has tracked down a man that has frequently employed a handheld signal jammer when riding SEPTA buses because the other passengers’ conversations irritated him.
An NBC10 employee first noticed the man using the device during her morning commute. “He’s blatantly holding this device that looks like a walkie-talkie with four very thick antennae. I started to watch him and any time somebody started talking on the phone, he would start pressing the button on the side of the device,” said the employee.
Signal jammers not only block out cellular signals but also jam GPS, Wi-Fi, and police radio. And unless you work for Homeland Security or a very select few federal contractors, jammers are very illegal. The use, ownership, purchase or sale of the devices can net a $US16,000 fine and jail time.
The man, who only identified himself as Eric, told reporters that he had purchased the device online because listening to other people talk in public is, “pretty irritating, and quite frankly, it’s pretty rude.” Did he care that jammers are illegal? Nope, “It is my understanding it is more of a grey area. It is my understanding that it’s illegal to, you know, stop a television signal, a radio signal. You know, it’s my understanding according to the FCC that it’s not illegal to disrupt a cell phone signal.”
He went on to say that, “I guess I’m taking the law into my own hands, and quite frankly, I’m proud of it.”
No Eric, see, Batman took the law into his own hands. Guy Fawkes took the law into his own hands. Travis Bickle took the law into his own hands. You’re just being a tool and messing with people around you who aren’t doing anything illegal. To take the law into your own hands, laws need to actually be broken — not just your inflated sense of entitlement. [NBC Philadelphia via Mashable]
Image: The AP