A Father Accidentally Shut Down His Town’s Whole Internet in an Effort to Limit His Kids’ Screentime

A Father Accidentally Shut Down His Town’s Whole Internet in an Effort to Limit His Kids’ Screentime
Photo: Tetra Images, Getty Images

In case you haven’t noticed, kids these days just do not know how to moderate their screen time. So, in a desperate bid to get his children offline, some guy in France apparently blitzed his entire town’s internet connection — by accident, that is. He now faces up to six months in prison for the outage.

A report from the outlet France Bleu says the unnamed dad tried to use a multi-wave band jammer to temporarily cut off the internet connection at his residence in the town of Messanges. Jammers, which are illegal in France (and also in the U.S.), work by interfering with telecommunication signals, thus stifling connections. Despite their illegality, people still get arrested for using them, pretty much all the time.

In this case, the dad in question deployed the device in the hopes of prying his social-media-addicted children away from the grips of their devices. When later questioned by a government official, the man apparently admitted that he only wanted to cut off the connectivity to his house at night, between the hours of midnight and 3 a.m. — probably so his kids would put the phones down and just go to bed already.

Unfortunately for the padre, the jamming device was powerful enough to cut connectivity not just to his own residence but, unbeknownst to him, to those of many, many others in the surrounding area. His neighbours eventually started reporting their outages, after which the government was forced to investigate. The outlet reports:

He was thinking of depriving his only children of the internet and did not imagine that the wave jammer he was using would disrupt telecommunications in an area spanning two municipalities. An investigation by the National Frequency Agency established his responsibility and legal proceedings were initiated.

The man now faces up to six months in jail and a fine of 30,000 euros. Ouch. There’s gotta be an easier way to unplug than this, folks.