Why doesn’t Solid Signal sell cell phone jammers!

We don’t sell jammers. First of all we’re in the business of improving people’s cell signals, not making them worse. I mean, here at Solid Signal we do want to help people use their electronics in whatever way we like, but we still won’t sell you a device designed to block other people’s service. Why?

Because it’s illegal.

Any company that’s selling you a cell jammer is breaking the law. Actually, they’re breaking more than one law. Cell jammers can’t be licensed to private individuals or companies, so they’re breaking that law. There’s also a law that’s designed to stop people from interfering with 911 service, so it’s actually a civil rights issue believe it or not. There are a number of other laws about interfering with public safety officers and such… the point is that it’s not a good idea.

If you’re curious about one individual who didn’t care so much about this law, read this article (Thanks, Signal Labs member VOS) about a gentleman who didn’t much care for the fact that drivers around him were on their phones. He bought an illegal jammer and used on Florida’s highways for about two years. He’s in for about $48k in fines and if anyone can pin him to a case where someone couldn’t call 911 or make an emergency call, he could face millions of dollars in a judgement from a civil case.

I get where this guy is coming from. If you’re using a cell phone without a hands-free device while you’re driving, you’re not doing your job of driving. If you’re texting or looking at the phone for any other reason, that’s pretty scary. Every second you drive at freeway speeds, you’re going 100 feet. Every three seconds, you’re traversing an entire football field. Imagine driving through an entire football field without looking. That’s what you’re doing if you text while driving.

What about cell jammers for buildings? They’re illegal too. I have to say, in the case of movie theaters I wish they weren’t, but they are. They’re illegal in hospitals as well, even in areas where you’re prohibited from using a cell phone. That’s because the same transmissions that could potentially cause harm to patients (by affecting their life-support equipment) would be generated by jamming equipment.

As far as I know, it’s not illegal to put a sheet of lead in the walls to block cell reception, and I do know of one movie theater that’s old enough that the lead-based paint actually blocks cell reception. But just because you could legally have a lead-lined room, doesn’t mean you should either. It’s kind of a jerk move (then again so is answering your cell during a movie.)

Folks, it may seem like cell phones have been with us forever, but the truth is that we’re only about 20 years into the era of cell phones and fewer than 10 years into the era of smartphones. We don’t know what the eventual fallout will be; it will probably take decades more before we really understand the etiquette we need. In the meantime, don’t be a jerk. That’s good advice for live overall. If you don’t want to be near other drivers with cell phones, move around them. And if you’re the one driving with your hand on that shiny black mirror… don’t. Just, don’t.