A Philadelphia man made headlines after admitting that he uses a cell phone jammer to block his passengers’ conversations. The driver, named Eric, said that “he takes the law into his own hands and frankly I’m proud of it.”
The story, which was first reported by the NBC subsidiary in Philadelphia, struck a nerve and is at the top of Google’s list of trend topics on Friday.
Forbes’ Meghan Casserly reported that she had spoken to two other cell phone jammers – one in New York and one in Washington, DC – who said they were proud of what they were doing. A man told her that he was using his jammer to “turn off a loud speaker on the train near me” and never felt guilty of having dropped calls.
It should be said that interfering with cell phone signals is illegal for a variety of reasons. The gadgets block incoming and outgoing calls. This means that a traffic jam that is out of date can limit the ability of people to call emergency services or report crimes.
There is also the subject of the first change. The decision by the San Francisco public transport system to block cell phone signals as part of an anti-riot effort has prompted the Federal Communications Commission to say it will review “deliberate government service interruptions”.
But while there are a lot of countermeasures against government shutdowns, jammers like Eric say they don’t feel like a threat to public security. When the Philadelphia investigators asked if he had concerns about disturbing someone looking for help on the bus, he said that this was a different situation.
“Of course, if there was such a situation on the bus, I could imagine that I would be right in the middle of it. And I would imagine that it would of course be a completely different situation; I could imagine that I would choose 911 myself” Eric said to the TV station.