Cell phone jammer company assessed $25,000 for two Internet sales

We have written elsewhere about the irritations of other people using cell phones in public places. Technology, having caused this problem, also offers a solution: widely available on the Internet are jammers that silence phones nearby, and sometimes at a considerable distance.  We Googled “cell phone jammer” and found dozens of places selling them.

Some outfit calling itself the “Federal Communications Commission” has declared jammers to be illegal. Recently it levied a fine of $25,000 against a company with the unwisely chosen name of “phonejammers.com” that offers them on the Internet. (This is like putting a license plate on your car that says SPEEDER.) The company denied marketing in the United States, but the FCC found two in use that the company had sold. Both were relatively high power, as jammers go – five and eight watts respectively. The five-watter, used by a Texas cosmetology school, resulted in a local cell phone provider lodging interference complaints; the other interfered with calls to and from a sheriff’s office in Florida. One suspects the users had these cranked up a lot higher than was needed to protect the immediate premises.

Ironically, in both Texas and Florida it is legal to openly carry firearms into a Starbucks, say. But not a phone jammer. So when the cell phone at the next table erupts into The William Tell Overture and its owner bellows, “HELLO? HEY! YEAH, IN A STARBUCKS! IT’S RAINING HERE! SO WHERE’RE YOU?” pulling out the jammer is not an option. It’s the firearm or nothing. This may not be good public policy.

Yet the FCC runs roughshod over citizens’ inalienable right to enjoy a cup of coffee in peace. Phone your congressional representative to complain. But please, step outside to make the call. Especially in open-carry states.