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FCC Issues Forfeiture Notices to Two Business for Jamming Cellular Frequencies 350

An anonymous reader writes "The FCC, responding to anonymous complaints that cell phone jamming was occurring at two businesses, investigated and issued each a Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture and Order (NAL). You can read the details of the investigation and calculation of the apparent liability in each notice below. Businesses engaged in similar illegal activity should note the public safety concerns and associated fines. From the article: 'The FCC issued a Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture and Order to each business: The Supply Room received an NAL in the amount of $144,000 (FCC No. 13-47), while Taylor Oilfield Manufacturing received an NAL in the amount of $126,000 (FCC No, 13-46).'"
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FCC Issues Forfeiture Notices to Two Business for Jamming Cellular Frequencies

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  • FCC=BS (Score:1, Insightful)

    by adamz_myth ( 1004088 ) on Monday April 15, 2013 @10:12PM (#43457895)
    Why don't they just put a damn payphone in each place and leave us in peace to eat or be entertained instead of being interrupted by some idiot yammering on and on with his/her stupid little talking device?
  • by jamiedolan ( 1743242 ) <> on Monday April 15, 2013 @10:19PM (#43457927) Homepage
    Many commercial buildings have a lot of steal in the structure / roof which is very difficult for higher frequency radio waves to penetrate. (Concrete and block are also difficult for many signals to penetrate) I highly doubt most stores are actively blocking your signal, however many are very likely "passively blocking" phone signals due to the commonly used construction materials in commercial buildings.
  • by verifine ( 685231 ) on Monday April 15, 2013 @10:21PM (#43457945)

    If your business has a steel roof, that's what's doing the jamming. I have no problem if there's a legitimate reason to SCREEN cell phone emissions. You do that by lining your walls with some kind of "chicken wire" appropriate for the frequency the offenders are trying to transmit on.

    Funny how this transfers the cost of cell phone use denial to the business that wishes to deny it, and how appropriate. The idea of employing jammers, simply ridiculous. I hear it as the cheapest way to deal with a perceived problem. If you can't motivate your employees, that's not MY problem (should I unwittingly venture onto your property.) Seems to me that denial of 911 access alone would put any of these guardians of all freedom into a painful legal situation.

    A-holes on cell phones are the same a-holes that have plagued society since time immemorial. Trying to counter a perceived RF threat with more RF is a strategy destined to failure.

  • by johnny5555 ( 2843249 ) on Monday April 15, 2013 @10:22PM (#43457947)
    I'm sure that's true in many cases -- but I still think there are a lot more businesses out there jamming signals than we realize.
  • by ADRA ( 37398 ) on Monday April 15, 2013 @10:25PM (#43457961)

    Waits for the first 911 blocked lawsuit to happen in 5, 4, 3 ...

  • by O('_')O_Bush ( 1162487 ) on Monday April 15, 2013 @10:30PM (#43457981)
    In the U.S., you can apply for a permit from the FCC to use jammers. The issue here is that these companies did not, but were jamming anyways.
  • Re:This is awesome (Score:4, Insightful)

    by epyT-R ( 613989 ) on Monday April 15, 2013 @10:54PM (#43458099)

    Unfortunately, the FCC licensing of the spectrum removes the meat of that claim. If the spectrum is publicly owned, the public shouldn't have to pay for licenses to use it however it sees fit. This is similar to socialist countries calling themselves "The Peoples' Republic of...". On paper it's true, but in reality, it's not. If the spectrum were truly open, it would be chaos; completely unusable for all but local communications.

    It's the cell customers who are creating a public disturbance with the cell carriers' service and license. If the store is popular, asking people one at a time to hang up takes up too much time. Passive signs don't work either. The best way to handle it is to jam, preferably with a passive 'faraday cage' when possible. If not, then low power jammers should be used. If customers want to use their phones, they have to go outside. If they don't like losing service while shopping, they can go elsewhere.

  • by AuMatar ( 183847 ) on Monday April 15, 2013 @11:05PM (#43458149)

    Annonymous tip= worker who didn't like the policy and found out, or former worker who didn't like the policy or wanted to hurt the company.

  • by jklovanc ( 1603149 ) on Monday April 15, 2013 @11:20PM (#43458221)

    The issue is that jammer signals are not restricted to the building they are in. Radio waves will spill out and cause interference with cell phones of people who have nothing to do with the business owning the jammers.

  • by MBGMorden ( 803437 ) on Monday April 15, 2013 @11:23PM (#43458231)

    What happened before modern medicine was invented?

    If someone dies you can't say "Well, once upon a time they would have died anyways so its not a problem."

  • by Austerity Empowers ( 669817 ) on Tuesday April 16, 2013 @12:07AM (#43458367)

    Using a cell phone in a movie theater annoys customers who have already paid. Using a cell phone in a department store may convince you that you should spend your money elsewhere.

    Guess who is going to spend money jamming.

  • by queazocotal ( 915608 ) on Tuesday April 16, 2013 @04:12AM (#43459167)

    It doesn't work that way.
    Your phone only indicates strength of the tower it's connected to, not noise.
    To show a really strong signal, the theatre would need to be operating a fake cell site.
    (Which is separately illegal)

  • Hang Up (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ThatsNotPudding ( 1045640 ) on Tuesday April 16, 2013 @07:41AM (#43459779)

    Here in Birmingham, AL, there's a spot on I-65 where my phone shows tons of signal, but I invariably lose a call there, because of interference.

    Maybe that's Karma telling you to hang up and drive, Mr. More Dangerous Than A Drunkard.

  • by quetwo ( 1203948 ) on Tuesday April 16, 2013 @07:49AM (#43459809) Homepage

    It has nothing to do with a higher density of devices and people than what the system in the area was built for... Not at all. It has to mean that they are blocking and jamming the cell service. Yup.

All science is either physics or stamp collecting. -- Ernest Rutherford