Ina Fried

Recent Posts by Ina Fried

Jamming Annoying Cellphone Talkers, Though Appealing, Remains Illegal

If you have ever been on a bus or train with someone loudly yammering on their cellphone, the appeal of a device that could block their signal is undeniable.

Well, the Federal Communications Commission would like to take this opportunity to remind you that such products remain illegal, regardless of their obvious appeal.

“In recent days, there have been various press reports about commuters using cellphone jammers to create a ‘quiet zone’ on buses or trains,” Enforcement Bureau Chief Michele Ellison said in a statement. “We caution consumers that it is against the law to use a cell or GPS jammer or any other type of device that blocks, jams, or interferes with authorized communications, as well as to import, advertise, sell, or ship such a device.”

The agency said it has undertaken 20 enforcement actions against online retailers in 12 states for illegally marketing such jamming devices.

“The FCC Enforcement Bureau has a zero tolerance policy in this area and will take aggressive action against violators,” Ellison said.

If only there were a zero-tolerance policy against loudly sharing embarrassing personal details with an entire bus.


Latest Video

View all videos »

Search »

I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik