Wednesday, February 20, 2008

What Gives Me the Right?

Interesting. Do I get to carry a portable device that blocks cell phone reception in an area?

This jobbie works, if I read the description right, on an area of radius 10 meters, out from the unit in my pocket. So, I could keep you from making or receiving cell phone calls in a car, or in a conference room.

So, if this device is legal, at one point would it become illegal? At a power/radius of 100 meters? How about 10 miles? Can I block all cell phone use in a circle of 10 mile radius?

At some point, it is clearly illegal, or should be. Yes?

UPDATE: Yes. Clearly illegal.

But then why the hecking heck does it pop up on Facebook?


The Unknown Professor said...

I haven't verified this, but I've heard that stronger versions (range up to 100 meters) are sometimes used by the military to negate cell phone-triggered bombs. They're also used in some European churches.

I'd thought of getting one for use in my finance classes. Some of my little darlings say that they use their cell phones as calculators. But somehow when I see one of them pushing frantically with both thumbs (I swear that some of them spend so much time texting that they could press 300 lbs with each thumb), they can't ever seem to show me how to solve a problem on their calculator.

With one of these babies, I don't have to police them, but somehow their cell phones just would never seem to work in my classroom.

It'd almost be worth it to see the looks on their faces when they can't get reception and really can't complain about it without looking like a schmo.

Dirty Davey said...

What are the property rights implications here? Shouldn't (for example) a private university have the right to block signals in a building on their campus (private property) if they are doing so in a way that has absolutely no effect off the property (e.g. a 10m radius blocker in a building 200m from the campus boundary)?

Shawn said...

at the home of all-things-tech, engadget, there are a few articles on cell's a U.S. site, but clearly people *are* using them, despite it happening to be against the law. Particularly interesting was one article where schools in italy are doing exactly what you're proposing, UP:

Ciao, celly!

br said...

I've seen this before. Once the product life cycle peaks, they will introduce cell phone jammer jammers and then jammer jammer jammers and so on.

Angus said...

"If God were here he'd tell you to your face: Man your somekind of sinner! Signs, Signs, everywhere are signs....."

Just a Thought said...

The rule states: The Act prohibits any person from willfully or maliciously interfering with the radio communications of any station licensed or authorized under the Act or operated by the U.S. government.

I'm not sure your cellphone qualifies under this statute as a matter of law, so saying that the device is "clearly illegal" is probably wrong. It may be illegal.

Shawn said... cdma and gsm frequencies are licensed frequencies by the FCC...

Just a Thought said...

But this is specific to "station"s that are licensed or authorized or operated by the US government. Is your phone a station? What is the legal definition of "station"? These are both arguable points. It doesn't matter, really, I was just pointing out that there it isn't black and white.