Brando's $250 cell phone jammer would cost you $11k in fines

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Crapvendor emeritus Brando is selling a new "Hand-held portable universal cell phone jammer" that works on a variety of frequencies (although likely not all at once) and is almost certainly illegal to own or operate in the United States. With its battery fully charged it can blocked phones in an eight- to ten-meter range for around 90 minutes. That won't ensure you a quiet theater, but you might be able to silence your corner bar.

It's $250, plus shipping.

Product Page [Gadget.Brando.com.hk]

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18 Comments

  1. I wonder if and when we’ll see a conviction of this nature? For starters, what constitutes just cause for a search to locate one of these devices, if as discussed it’s being used on the street? From a technical standpoint, I doubt that the vast majority of law enforcement agencies have the equipment to police devices like this. IANAL but if you don’t go around showing it to people and laughing about how you’re jamming cellphones, the likelihood of you being found with one and anyone not thinking it’s just a funny looking walkie-talkie seems negligible.

  2. The local cops aren’t going to bust you for having this, unless it interrupts their operations somehow. Otherwise, this is FCC territory and I’m pretty sure those guys aren’t cruising around scanning for cell phone jammers.

    I’d be a little weary about ordering stuff like this online anyways. If I was a little more electronics savvy, I would rather build one..

    http://www.boingboing.net/2007/01/17/selftuning-portable-.html

    http://www.ladyada.net/make/wavebubble/

  3. Continuous use is a good way to get yourself busted. They might be able to triangulate your position by checking the severity of the interference. Tapping it for 10-20 seconds should be enough to get people to hang-up. Repeat until they stop calling back.

  4. What band does Lo-Jack work on? I know of at least a couple of alarms that have cell alerts (the alarm pages you or calls your cell). How about OnStar security?

    I think these should absolutely be legal for use on private property (if I owned a theater and I could, I would advertise these things).

  5. Zuzu, right on. I wrote a red box and blue box program on my Amiga, recorded the red box tones to tape to play them back at a pay phone, and of course never used any of it.

    Thankfully, as it turns out; at least one childhood friend and one teenage friend had their houses searched and computers seized by the feds. Oh, the joys of an adventurous childhood.

  6. “That won’t ensure you a quiet theater, but you might be able to silence your corner bar.”

    Or the cellphones of your hostages.

  7. #9 Exactly what I was thinking, hence why I can totally see this as illegal, especially for theaters. Unlike those blanket systems they’re trying to make for call blocking, these don’t leave a hole for emergency calling.

  8. Deal is, if Customs decides to check the package they can confiscate it (assuming they know what it is) and you’re out the $250 + shipping.. Looks like Kerravon was successful and I checked out http://www.infostream.biz & it looks like the cheapest one is $229. Ah, toys. Might be nice so I don’t have to listen to “Zups” in movie theaters.

  9. Most companies will not charge you if something happens to your delivery during transit, but you should check with them before ordering.

  10. The FCC Argues that the right to broadcast on these frequency’s has been rightfully purchased by the cell companies.

    I argue that they didn’t purchase the rights to broadcast into or out of my private property.

    My Bar does NOT have to provide you with emergency cell phone service. We have a ham radio for that! Now its my right to have a cell phone free bar and a method to enforce this choice within my property bounds.

  11. (1) Make no mistake. Using ANY cell phone jammer is illegal by federal law. The law in an FCC regulation from the 1930’s (very much still in force) that makes illegal any intererance with legal radio communications.

    (2) The fool who alledged that, as a bar owner, he has a LEGAL right under current US law to jam cell phone communications under law is totally wrong. Now, whether or not we SHOULD have the right to jam cell phones is quite another question. I think we’d find a lot of public support for that, especially if impimented in a well-thought out fashion.

    The problem is such technology can easily be both intentionally and unintentionally abused. Jamming a theatre currently would me that, say, a neurosurgeon who is on call, with his (or her) phone on vibrate, who conscientiously booked an aisle seat at the theatre, and who intended to leave the theater before returning a vibrating phone call, would not get his call.

    In time, ways around this can be engineered. But right now, some people legitimately depend on being able to be called for important emergencies… including (as in the case of physicians on call) emergencies where their being contacted is in the interest of third parties who NEED help… fast.

    (3) There has not been a SINGLE CASE in ALL of the history of the USA of ANYONE convicted of using a personal cell phone jammer. Or prosecuted for such, as a matter of fact.

    (4) Recommended use of persnal cell phone jammers: Turn them on when you are in a situation where someone is offensively using a cell phone in a fashion that is rude to you… such as those young creeps who shine a brilliant light from their blackberry in your eyes in a dark theatre during the performance because they’re bored and want to text message (an experience I’ve had several times at top run NYC broadway theatres). As soon as the offender realizes they can’t communicate… their signal is gone… turn your jammer off, so as not to jam legimiate improtant reception. You can always turn it on again if the creep trys again.

    (5) That $38 dollar jammer mentioned here from deal extreme DOES work, but it’s very very short range. 10 feet or so. The $300 devices (or at least some of them) have two or three or even four times the range, and more reliably block certain carriers (like ATT) which are not well blocked by the cheap jammers. Difference include output power AND, more significantly often, the quality of the antennas. Global Gadget is a very honorable supplier of quality eqipment of this sort.

    (6) Different parts of the USA are more likely to have a shipment of “contraband” of this sort confiscated by customs than others. For example, it’s hard to get such stuff shipped in to NY City. But this stuff relatively reliably goes thru to the San Francisco area.

    At least, as of my writing this note.

    YMMV

  12. #14 quote:
    a neurosurgeon who is on call, with his (or her) phone on vibrate, who conscientiously booked an aisle seat at the theatre, and who intended to leave the theater before returning a vibrating phone call, would not get his call.

    People who are on call can certainly stay away from businesses who jam, as I would imagine that such action would be posted.

  13. I am looking in to buying one of these, but don’t want legal issues. I’m a high school teacher, and my time seems to be consumed with telling teenagers to “quit texting and get to work.” We have more restriction on a school campus. Maybe something like the jammer could be OK??

  14. Jammers are finding more widespread use (in countries that allow them) in schools and prisons, as prisons find the need to block the use of illegal cell phones.

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