Philly Man Busted Using Banned Cell Phone Jammer on City Buses

When people are trying to find ways to amplify and boost their cell phone signals, here is a man who regularly rides Philadelphia’s buses and admits he jams all cell phones so he can get peace and quiet on the ride. He claims he’s taking the law into his own hands to silence his commute by activating a mobile phone jammer, that typically cost about $1000 and can block signals in a room about the size of a movie theater and are illegal in many countries, including the United States.

Cell Phone Jamming Commuter Disrupts Service On Public Buses

At a point when the world is talking about the future of mobility, this particular man apparently decided he’d had enough with listening to his fellow bus passengers chatter away on their cellphones. But instead of buying himself some noise-canceling headphones or politely asking people to slow down, he decided he’d have to fight back with a hand-held device that jams their cell phone signals.

I guess I’m taking the law into my own hands. And, quite frankly, I’m proud of it,” the man who calls himself Eric told NBC.  Eric says he doesn’t want to hear people talking on their cell phones in public.  “It’s still pretty irritating and quite frankly it’s pretty rude,” said Eric.

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,” said Eric.

A daily passenger who used to watch Eric freaked out when she saw the man jamming passengers’ cell phones on her bus ride 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,” said the passenger who alerted the NBC10 Investigators who went undercover to catch the cell phone vigilante with a hidden camera.

Some will sympathize with Eric’s pain. Not so long ago, a lady was thrown off a train after allegedly talking for 16 hours on her cell phone. Non-stop.

Drexel University’s Dr. Rob D’Ovidio works with cell phone forensics and electronic crime. D’Ovidio says some cell phone jammers are security concerns as they can stop GPS, two-way radios and can even block police radio if they’re close enough. Imagine being in an emergency and a cell phone jammer blocks you from sending a distress call to 911!

With cell phone 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,” said Dr. D’Ovidio.

The jammers emit a special modulated wave that not only interferes with cell phone signals, but also radio frequencies including those used by emergency personnel and police. Under federal law, these devices are illegal to use, own, buy or sell, and doing so could mean jail time and up to $16,000 in fines.

However, Eric, having now reportedly confirmed that his jammer might put him in the slammer, has promised he will destroy his device.


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