Is The Philly Cellphone Jammer A Hero Or A Jerk?

A man in Philadelphia decided he’d had enough with listening to his fellow bus passengers blab away on their cellphones. But instead of buying himself some noise-cancelling headphones or politely asking people to pipe down, he chose to fight back with a handheld device that jams their signals.

“I guess I’m taking the law into my own hands,” he told NBC10, which caught him red-handed with the illegal jammer, “and quite frankly, I’m proud of it.”

Those who ride the bus with the man say he should be ashamed, not proud.

“How dare you decide that I can’t speak to somebody or I can’t use my cellphone?” asks one passenger who spotted the man using the jammer on her way to work. “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.”

Experts tell NBC10 that there is a good reason the FCC has made it illegal to jam cellphone signals: “With cellphone jammers you are limiting all types of communication tools that use the radio frequencies. You have the potential to cause a public safety disaster. Cutting off communication by not only our public officials to their dispatch centers but also cutting off the public’s communication to 911 can be a dangerous thing.”

When confronted by a reporter about the illegality of the device, the jamming gent said he believed it was “more of a gray area,” but hours later contacted NBC10 to say that after further research he would get rid of the jammer.

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