FCC on the hunt for cellphone signal jammers

FCC on the hunt for cellphone signal jammers
Do you always turn off completely your cellphone when entering the movie theater? Sometimes we forget to do it too. Maybe that is why signal jammers have started to gain popularity among some businesses and people who feel like one may come in handy.

For those of you who are not familiar with the matter, signal jammers are those tricky gadgets that some schools and theaters have started resorting to in order to prevent nearby cellphones from receiving or making calls. Texting doesn't work either as the carrier's signal gets completely blocked. Although it truly is annoying when somebody's cellphone rings out loud in the middle of a company meeting, the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) has pointed out that signal jammers may actually impose a serious health risk for everybody who is having their signal cut off by one at the wrong moment.

Signal jammers may not allow an emergency 9-1-1 call to be placed and therefore cause many unwanted consequences for the sake of somebody's comfort – this is officially the FCC's primary reason to stand against the use of such devices. Federal law already forbids the usage and distribution of signal jammers, and the FCC has announced about a month ago that it is stepping up its enforcement against them. Violators are to face thousands of dollars in fines along with getting their equipment taken away and may even face doing time in The Big House.

Maybe the FCC is becoming way too strict, and all that it takes is some discipline on the consumer's side in terms of knowing when to switch to silent mode. Or do you think the prohibition of cellphone signal jammers is quite necessary? Feel free to drop a comment below and let us know.

source: FCC via Engadget



30. jammed

Posts: 1; Member since: Nov 25, 2013

i like the idea of having it jammed. at work I see lots of ppl talking on phones when they should working for money they r getting paid to do the work. and txting should never be allowed at work.

29. HelenaHanbasket

Posts: 1; Member since: Jul 17, 2013

I HATE to be in a theater and have phones lit up in front of me gaming or texting during the movie, much less people TALKING on the phone.... Theaters HAVE PHONES IN THEM. If you have an emergency, GO GET HELP. If I go to a theater, I WILL USE A JAMMER. Think that's rude? Think how rude things were that led me to make this decision!

25. yrutoostupid

Posts: 1; Member since: Aug 09, 2012

It should be a law that jammers should be installed in all automobiles, they would only allow the use of a cell phone when the vehicle is in Park....I know this is harsh but I am tired of being put in danger by people who are so ignorant they think that it is actually possible to text and drive at the same time....sorry but you did it to yourselves and you know who you are....stupid!!!

24. fabulous801

Posts: 1; Member since: Dec 04, 2011

GOVERNment = Monopoly. We own as much share of "the air" as the government yet they are the only one making money off it. We should be entitled to do what we want with the air within our private property included broadcasting in it and not allowing certain people to broadcast within it. Wireless signal is measured in "noise" just like voice, which is similar to somebody speaking. You should be entitled to broadcast jamming signal within your private property. Not being allowed to broadcast within our private property is like not being allow to speak...think about it folks. We need to start reclaiming what BELONGS to us from the get go instead of begging the government to help us with more useless statutes and regulations and more money for their pockets. You're in my house if I want to shut your cellphone up so what? If you're not happy just walk out!

21. Rawrzellers

Posts: 224; Member since: Aug 22, 2010

I remember my 5th grade teacher telling us when her son had a seizure in a movie and how it took them like 10 minutes to get someone to call 9-1-1 for them because they didn't own a cellphone at the time.

19. Alex unregistered

Signal jammers are not the solution plain and simple. There are far too many reasons NOT to have a signal jammer than to have one. The only reason for movie theaters to have one is the inconvenience of a phone going off during the movie. Solution? More of those "cell phones ruin movies, please turn your phone off or to silent during the movie" ads. I am not opposed to those and although I usually turn my phone off, there have been times I forgot and that ad reminded me to do it. 911 isn't the only reason to need a cell signal. Perhaps the call you need to receive or text you need to receive isn't life-threatening but is important such as "I can't pick up the kids after school, can you do it?" and if you're in the middle of a movie and your kids are more important then you're more than likely going to leave the movie and go get the kids. There are other reasons like texting buddies what seat you're in so they can find you, asking someone to get you something from the concession stand while they're out, etc. It isn't always a matter of life or death but it would be better not to have them. I attend lots of movies and I've yet to have a single cell phone ruin the movie for me. There are far more distractions going on that require immediate attention than a cell phone going off since most phones get silenced rather quick if the owner is unfortunate enough to have it be theirs that wasn't silenced. People throwing things, loud kids, babies/toddlers making noise, couples making out, excessive coughing, oral copulation(seen it multiple times), obnoxious laughers with bad timing, etc. Keep in mind the loss of revenue theaters would suffer if people found out they were using cell jammers(whether used clandestinely or in plain sight) just because the people would feel as if their "rights"(yes I know it's a privilege not a right that's why I put rights in quotes) to have their cell phone work in a movie theater are being infringed upon. I could probably come up with more but that's all for now.

17. ShereenaJ unregistered

I bet a terrorist invented this. LMAO. I mean common sense, before inventing this, they shouldve wighed out the pros and cons for such device. I see it as an invitation for terrorist to use this device towards pentagon and shut off all of their communcations to take over the world! Seriously, to take a terrorist down, you gotta think like one. You know what i mean??? Seriously!!!

16. Cool unregistered

Better yet would be to legislate the need for handset manufacturers to BUILD-IN a kill switch which would allow signals to operate normally but shut phones off in allowed (maybe court order needed too?) places/areas. This way, signal could be operable normally while limiting who might use the signal in designated places/areas. Exemptions could be obtained... and those with exemptions, such as doctors, LEO's, etc, could obtain the means necessary to bypass the kill/shut down. Hardware control would certainly offer a better operation than just plainly jamming signal. It's all about control... and yes, those establishments wishing to USE the kill switch would have to register, declare their need and obtain licenses to do so. Building Codes could come into play so that the use of such equipment would not interfere with nearby businesses or likewise who chose NOT to do the same. Quality of life issues, sensitivity, etc., can all be encompassed, such as library's, places of worship, hospitals, etc. Hell... even the LEO's could use it at rally's and such to disable the potential for MASS Civil Disobedience via text... lol, a recent and LARGE issue they face! I'm sure there could be hundreds of examples where someone may want to use such a handset "OFF" function. Licensing and use would also cover all the necessary bases such as proper notification to the public at large that they are entering the kill zone, etc., etc., etc... These would cover all the bases and still not disrupt signal where it might be needed... For those using it illegally now, well they KNOW the risks and any associated consequence in using such devices, shame on them. Just my $.02

15. GlennO unregistered

I have no problem as long as there are signs posted that the establishment uses jammers. If I don't like their policy, I can always go to another establishment.

18. ShereenaJ unregistered

Seriously??? what if your favorite place in the world JUST got a signal jammer? wouldnt you hate to choose another establishment just because they have them? But then again, you seem like a person who doesnt mind change... im just sayin :)

14. Whateverman

Posts: 3295; Member since: May 17, 2009

I hope the FCC goes through with it. There is no need for any company or business to block my signal. Maybe law enforcement, but that's it. You never know what kind of emergency may arise outside of that movie theater or school that may need your attention.

13. rfrapp

Posts: 77; Member since: Jun 10, 2010

If jammers are allowed to be used then who knows who will buy and use them? Terrorists already have a lot of technology. Why would we hand them new tech on a silver platter?

26. choochoo

Posts: 2; Member since: Oct 22, 2012

Why would a law keep terrorists from doing anything?

28. enve215

Posts: 1; Member since: Jan 05, 2013

how wou.d terrorists not have them? it is legal to buy and use in other countries just not in the united states I found out the hard way bought and paid for one online and waited months for it just to receive a letter from us customs stating that my signal jammer was confiscated and I would not be receiving it

33. blokemall47

Posts: 3; Member since: Jan 03, 2014

Don't try to use terrorists as an excuse. Most of them are better educated than anyone in this country. Our new tech is old to them anyway.

12. ericf unregistered

So if my school keeps them could i call the cops on them?.

11. codymws

Posts: 237; Member since: Jun 17, 2010

I think they should be able to be used in certain areas and situations, such as schools. I'm sure there are kids out there who use their cell phones to cheat on tests or homework. I have nothing against kids having cell phones, just some ways they use them. I'd say they should be allowed in movie theaters too, but I honestly haven't ever had a problem with someone talking on the phone during a movie. And if there's a family emergency or something there could be a problem if a call couldn't be made or received.

10. JammerStammer unregistered

Radio Jammers should be outlawed, not only it blocks cell phones it also blocks people with medical devices, which can be dangerous. yes we were all fine before cell phones, but then again people smoked in theaters before.

9. downphoenix

Posts: 3165; Member since: Jun 19, 2010

not just this, but signal jammers also illegally make your phone accept interference. If you ever read one of those lables on the back of the device, here's hoping they put a stop to this crap.

8. anarkie

Posts: 48; Member since: Jan 28, 2009

I wanted to get a portable one to keep in my car. Damn, there goes that idea. The minute some idiot on their phone cuts me off or almost swings into me because they're not paying attention... disconnect for 30 seconds. I'm against NOT having them in the right situations. CT has a law against hand held cell phone use. But nobody cares. They use them, while speeding, never using a GD turn signal, and all around being crappy, disrespectful, drivers. Hell, even cops use their phone hand held. Don't even try to tell me they need to. They have several radios for communication. They're just being _____holes.

32. blokemall47

Posts: 3; Member since: Jan 03, 2014

A big AMEN to you, anarkie. Cell phones should be used for emergencies ONLY. If you think you just have to talk to someone, go pick them up and you can have them face to face. Get tired of them, drop them off and get another talker. STAY OFF THE PHONES!!

6. box unregistered

I think that instead of banning/blocking them, they should regulate them and charge fees as a way to take in money. Personally, I think that the jammers are fine if used moderately, say a small one in each theater room rather than one for the entire theater complex, for instance. That way users can go to the lobby or outside and get reception, in case of emergency or to call for a ride, for example. Furthermore, humans got on just fine for many many years before cell phones, and if there were an emergency, there's still landlines at such places that use the jammers

7. snowgator

Posts: 3630; Member since: Jan 19, 2011

Solid. Ever consider sending a resume to the FCC?

4. LAK9 unregistered

I think if you are entering into private property, ie. move theater, restaurants the owners have the right to limit what they want. If you don't like that decision, then you have the choice of not patronizing their establishment.

5. snowgator

Posts: 3630; Member since: Jan 19, 2011

IF the FCC approves a variation to a signal jammer, then sure these places can use them. Yes, they are private property- sorta. These places cator to the public, and therefore have to accept certain regulations concerning their buisness. They have to provide certain safety concerns (properly lit and accessable exits, fire extinguishing systems, some require AEDs), and are not allowed to refuse entry based on color, race, ect, although they can protect themselves against drunk, disruptive people by posting that they can refuse service to anyone. I would assume that any use of a jammer would have to be public knowledge, sorta like any X-ray machine in a hospital or clinic has to be posted to allow all patients/public to know it's use and location.

2. sniperace

Posts: 95; Member since: Aug 20, 2009

Signal jamming is just wrong! We live in a day and age where for many of us a cell phone is our main way of being contacted. It's not all about being able to call 911. Someone may need to inform you about a bad accident a loved one just got into. Your mom,dad, husband ,or wife on the brink of the afterlife and you got the call almost 2 hrs latter....Because a signal jammer in a movie theater, resturant, public libraries. Where does it end?.

3. hawk62

Posts: 320; Member since: Nov 21, 2009

You are wrong. They should use them. If you are that worried, then dont go. Do you check for service in every building you go in? If you see no service, do run out to make sure the world is still ok?

20. donpeppino9

Posts: 67; Member since: Jan 24, 2010

Im sorry but wat you're saying is the worst thing... nobody should be allowed to jam your signals unless your the FCC or the cell phone companies.

22. jbash

Posts: 345; Member since: Feb 07, 2011

I agree. I use my hard earned money to have service on my cellphone. I totally disagree with blocking signal becasue of small percentage of idiots out there were raised without etiquette or manners.

27. choochoo

Posts: 2; Member since: Oct 22, 2012

There is more than a small amount of idiots that abuse cell phones in an establishment. I pay good money to watch a movie at the theatre and some but hole gets a call and continues to talk while sitting in the theatre. This has happened over 10 different times.

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