Legal issues with using cell phone jammer
In the United States, cell phone jamming is covered by the Communications Act of 1934, which prohibits people from "intentionally or maliciously interfering with the radio communications of any station licensed or authorized to operate." In fact, "the manufacture, import, sale or offer for sale of equipment designed to block or interfere with wireless transmissions is also prohibited".
Interference is considered property theft because a private company buys the rights to the radio spectrum, and interference spectrum is similar to theft of property purchased by a company. It also represents a safety hazard, as interference blocks all calls in the area, not just annoying ones. The jamming signal might stop the nannies frantically trying to reach a parent or someone trying to call an ambulance.
The Federal Communications Commission is responsible for enforcing interference laws. However, the agency has yet to prosecute anyone for tampering with cell phones. Under U.S. rules, first-time offenders can be fined up to $11,000, each violation or jailed for up to a year, and the equipment used can also be seized and confiscated by the government.
In most countries, it is illegal for ordinary citizens to interfere with cell phone transmissions, but some countries allow businesses and government agencies to install jammers in areas where cell phone use is considered a public nuisance. In December 2004, France legalized cell phone GPS jammers in cinemas, concert halls and other performance venues. France is finalizing technology that would allow emergency services calls to pass through. India has installed jammers in parliament and some prisons. Universities in Italy have reportedly adopted the technology to prevent cheating. Students use their camera phones to take exam photos and send them to classmates.
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