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Generic Painting Hides A Cellphone Jammer

Generic Painting Hides A Cellphone Jammer

By Chris Scott Barr

Have you ever had one of those friends that always seemed to be texting the entire time they’re hanging out with you? Wouldn’t it be great if you could simply block their cell phone signal, forcing them to put down their phone for a bit? Or what about killing the phone signal in a theater, so you don’t have to hear someone’s Rick Astley ringtone halfway through your movie? All you need is this fancy Painting Cell Phone Jammer.

This somewhat generic piece of art does much more than sit on your wall and look mildly interesting. It can block the signals on several different cell phone frequencies. You can choose specific ones to block, and whether you want to block it for a moment, or until you decide to turn it off. All of this is controlled from a remote, allowing you to be rather inconspicuous about things. At a price of $150 for a device that can block signals in an 80 meter radius, I can think of a lot of people (mostly businesses) that would love to get their hands on one.

Unfortunately there’s one tiny little snag that will prevent a lot of people from purchasing and using the device. I’m no legal expert, but I do believe it is unlawful to block cell phone signals in the US. I can see why these things would be a problem, after all, an 80 meter radius could easily extend into someone else’s house, leaving them without a signal. If you live in the US (or another country with similar laws), I wouldn’t suggest picking one of these up.

[ Chinavision ] VIA [ Dvice ]

  • Frank

    In the U.S. the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) makes certain frequencies available to broadcasters for public use. When an end-user pays to use that spectrum, jamming the signal is paramount to 'property theft.' The FCC is also concerned about potential “leakage” — of jammers interfering with frequencies outside the range of cell phones, like garage door openers or medical equipment; and it's worth noting that over 100,000 emergency calls are made each day from cell phones. Anyone caught manufacturing, selling, owning, or using a jammer in the U.S. is punishable by an $11,000 fine and up to a year in prison for each offense.

    But the stiff penalty hasn't stopped proliferation of the devices, perhaps because the FCC has not held anyone accountable. According to one interview with Richard Welch, associate chief of the FCC's Enforcement Bureau, no actions have been taken by the FCC because “nobody has complained.” This isn't surprising considering people can't tell the difference between being jammed and simply having poor signal strength which comes and goes with the best of phones even under normal circumstances.