Philadelphia Cell Phone Jammer Confronted

    March 2, 2012
    Shawn Hess
    Comments are off for this post.

NBC10 in Philadelphia has tracked down a man they caught jamming people’s cell phone transmission on the public bus commute.The Philadelphia cell phone jammer was first discovered by an employee of the news station who wishes to remain anonymous, but for the sake of the story she will be referred to as Marie.

She explains what was happening when she first saw the man that is calling himself Eric:

“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,”

After witnessing the strange event, she reported what she saw to the investigative team at the station and they set out to find the man. Apparently, it wasn’t hard, within a few minutes of boarding the same bus Marie and the team spotted him jamming some more phone conversations.

They observed him off and on for the next couple weeks, but eventually confronted him about the device one afternoon as he exited the bus. They told Eric that his device was illegal, and he responded:

“It is my understanding it is more of a gray 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,”

But according to NBC10 and the FCC, owning or using cell phone jamming devices is illegal. Also according to NBC10, it carries up to a $16,000 fine and possible jail time. When asked about why he’s jamming cell phones on the bus Eric was happy to respond:

“A lot of people are extremely loud, no sense of just privacy or anything. When it becomes a bother, that’s when I screw on the antenna and flip the switch,”

“I guess I’m taking the law into my own hands, and quite frankly, I’m proud of it.”

Here’s a video of the Philadelphia cell phone jammer taken by NBC10:

I suppose it’s not right to jam people’s conversations, but I have often thought about how rude it is to carry on on a conversation in an otherwise quiet space occupied by an audience. On the other hand, shouldn’t this guy mind his own business? Go somewhere where you can be alone if you need peace. I realize that probably means leaving the city, but the city has never been for those who enjoy peace and quiet, has it?

Marie comments on seeing Eric on her bus ride after confronting him:

“Every time I see this guy on the bus, I have a mixture of fear and anger. Part of me wants to go up to him and say, ‘Stop doing this, how dare you,’”

I wouldn’t get too upset Marie, you know, there was a time in the “old days” when people didn’t even have cell phones! Imagine how fighting that was? Yes, back then people actually just carried on conversations with the people around them. Boy that would have really pissed off the Philadelphia cell phone jammer! He would probably have to buy his own car, as I don’t think there’s a device that can jam face to face conversation.

I wonder if the Philadelphia cell phone jammer uses a cell phone? He probably has prepay:

“Hello, it’s me Eric……..okay I’ll meet you there, I gotta go, I think I’m upsetting people by talking.”

  • http://www.webpronews.com/author/chris-richardson Chris Richardson

    Awww, poor Marie. Did someone upset your sense of entitlement?

  • Joseph

    Technology usually is like a double-edged sword. Cell phones have reached critical mass and the bored people who must be on them chatting all of the time have ruined for the more serious and polite users. Cell phones now cause accidents and deaths like a DUI. They disturb people in theaters, restaurants, classrooms and even church.

    So, cell phone jammers will be LEGAL and used in a variety of settings. It is the bad apple theory playing out. Those without etiquette and common sense have made it necessary to enforce the inappropriate use of the devices by jamming them.

  • james perotti

    its a federal offnese to block a person making an emergency call its a federal offense id be calling the FBI if I were you .

  • Dave

    Wrong. We lived without these annoying devices for most of my life and guess what? We survived just fine. Talking to other people face to face on the bus is not a problem. It’s perfectly natural. Instead now we have to hear on one-sided conversation, often of a personal nature that has no place in a public space. There is no public space anywhere where you can get away from them. Remember when you could read a paper in the airport without hearing some blowhard salesman blabbering on a cell phone? It was great. Good job Eric!

  • Ernesto

    Too bad their illegal. If they weren’t I would buy one today. People like Marie that feel entitled to make noise and talk on her cell everywhere she goes are very tiresome. If you can’t spend a few minutes on a bus without yacking…I feel sorry for you. Poor, Poor Marie… to bad she works for a media outlet and all of had to hear her pathic comments.

  • greg

    Go Eric. Their conversations are stupid anyway (just listen). Disrupt them anyway you can.

  • john smith

    I applaud, “Eric!” You go!

  • Joy

    If YOUR loved one died because some idiot used one of these things you would not be saying way to go..he blocks them here who know how far his signal goes..a 911 call may be dropped because of it.

  • Jon

    I’d like to buy one for the movie theatre.

  • lambertvillekid

    Why must people always resort to these unlikely scenarios to argue the downside of this activity? Almost every action in life has a negative outcome associated with it. What is more likely to happen – hearing an annoying cell phone conversation or having to make a 911 call?

    I think the heart of the issue is selfish behavior. One person behaving selfishly to impose his/her will upon another selfish person will not yield a positive outcome.