New “jammer tip line” invites the public to turn in users and sellers of these devices.
Yes, we know you want a cell phone jammer. We all do. But you can’t have one. They’re illegal. One reason: their range is difficult to control. You want a jammer just to shut down the inane conversation next to you at Starbucks or on the bus. But thanks to your jammer, a heart attack victim across the street, desperately trying to call for help on his cell phone, may get a screen saying, “No Service.”
The FCC worked hard to shut down dedicated websites that sell phone jammers. Now it has turned its attention to sellers who try for a less conspicuous profile by selling through multi-purpose sites, particularly craigslist.com. The rules bar the FCC from imposing a fine on a retailer, among other categories, without first issuing an official notice called a “citation” that describes the prohibited behavior, after which the retailer must re-offend before it becomes subject to the fine. The FCC has taken that first step against 23 craigslist vendors by issuing citations to each. Here is an example. The full list is available here; scroll down.
The FCC also instituted a “jammer tip line” the public can use to turn in users and sellers of these devices. Call 1-855-55-NOJAM or email to firstname.lastname@example.org. And the FCC reissued an “Enforcement Advisory” that explains exactly what jamming equipment is illegal, and why.
So when the person next you in Starbucks or on the bus pulls out a cell phone and starts a long and pointless conversation, using a jammer is not a good option. Instead, we recommend a long and angry glare. Repeat as necessary.