Philadelphia Bus Troll Jams Cell Phone Signals When People Talk Too Loudly

Illustration for article titled Philadelphia Bus Troll Jams Cell Phone Signals When People Talk Too Loudly

I can understand the need for enforced cell phone silence in a variety of venues—libraries, funerals, theaters. But on a public bus in the middle of Philadelphia? Call me old fashioned, but that's kind of a dick move.

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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.

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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 $16,000 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 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."

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]

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Top Image: The AP / Jammer: The Jammer Store

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DISCUSSION

People do rude things using their cell phones all the time. I'm as sick of it as Eric is. Frankly, nobody needs to be accessible continually by phone. Not even doctors. And anybody who tells you otherwise is wrong. Civilization got along fine for a 100 years with telephones in fixed positions with no answering machines or voicemail.

It's nice that we can have cell phones as they are now, but they aren't necessary, and a lot of people are incredibly inconsiderate of others in their use of them.

At least Eric didn't pull out a gun and shout "Shut the fuck up!" and blow the loud-talker's head off."