Phone jamming

Phone jamming is an intriguing activity which has met with much controversy. While many people have been amused and inspired by recent reports of it, phone jamming is actually illegal in Australia and in extreme cases could lead to a two year jail sentence.

The issue of phone jamming was in the news recently after a man called Eric from Philadelphia in the US admitted that he regularly jams phone calls on the bus he catches to work. He does this by using a small device that looks like a walkie talkie and which, when turned on, blocks mobile phone reception within a predetermined radius. Eric claimed that he only ever used the device when he was annoyed by other bus passengers talking too loudly on their phones. Most public transport users would have some sympathy for his stance.

Eric’s story sparked claims of similar behaviour in Australia. A Melbourne teenager admitted to purchasing a phone jammer online and then using it in his classroom and various locations around the city. 

While these actions have attracted both support and envy from many people, not everyone is in favour. Victims of phone jamming are concerned about the invasion of privacy and the potential risk associated with their phone not working in an emergency. These people are supported by the law because the action of phone jamming is illegal.

The Radiocommunications Act of 1992 allows the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) to take action against jammers. The penalties vary from fines of $165,000 to two year jail terms.

How do you feel about phone jamming? Have you ever wished you could stop an especially loud person from talking on their mobile phone on the train, in a restaurant, at an airport or in any other public space? Share your thoughts here.

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