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Cell phone jammer admits to 'taking the law into his own hands'

A cell phone jammer in Philadelphia has admitted to blocking the phone calls of his fellow public transportation riders. 

By Matthew Shaer / March 2, 2012

A man in Philadelphia has admitted to jamming the calls of public transport riders with this device.



Almost no one likes those gabbers who chatter loudly into their cell phones on trains and buses.

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And few people like 'em less than a Philadelphia resident named Eric, who has apparently been using a cell phone jammer to disrupt the conversations of the other riders on his SEPTA bus route. According to an NBC affiliate in Philly, Eric knows he is "taking the law into his own hands" – but he's "proud" of his work. 

"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," Eric said. Listening to people talk is "pretty irritating, and quite frankly, it’s pretty rude," he added.

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Clearly, he has a good deal of support: His story was picked up today by dozens of tech sites, and for a brief moment on Friday, "cell phone jammer" topped the Google Trends list. 

A couple things to note here: Cell phone jamming is illegal. It carries a substantial fine. Legally speaking, you shouldn't do it. Morally speaking, you shouldn't do it, either: while it's easy to sympathize with Eric's plight – listening to other people talk on their phones is annoying! – going all smart-phone vigilante is not the best way to handle the situation.

The best way is to turn around and ask the person to stop talking. 

Because, as the NBC news affiliate was quick to point out, people talk on their phones for many reasons: They might have an emergency, for instance. 

"[S]houldn’t this guy mind his own business?" asks Shawn Hess of WebProNews. "Go somewhere where you can be alone if you need peace. I realize that probably means leaving the city, but the city has never been for those who enjoy peace and quiet, has it?"

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