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Mobile phone jamming on the rise

Fri 09 Mar, 2012 // Firstnumber Team
Passengers talking loudly on mobile phones disturb others

Google has reported a rise in the number of searches for mobile phone jamming devices, illegal in many countries across the world. The increase in searches came after news broke last week of a frustrated Philadelphia resident who used a jammer to “shut up” fellow passengers on public transport.

Just days after the story appeared in the news last Friday, Google registered heightened interest in the gadgets that sell for anything in the range of $40 to $1,000. “Cell phone jammer” was reportedly one of the top 10 searches on Google Trends, competing with Super Tuesday primaries news and Lindsay Lohan’s Saturday Night Live performance.

The Philadelphian, known only as Eric called people using mobile phones on public transport irritating and rude.

"A lot of people are extremely loud, no sense of, just, privacy or anything," said Eric. "When it becomes a bother, that's when I screw on the antenna and flip the switch."

Australian media have been reporting similar stories. A teenager in Melbourne shared his story on how easy it is to import the illegal devices from China and Singapore through websites like Dealextreme. He uses them to play practical jokes on people and admits to having caused temporary “blackouts” at his school and in other public places, including Melbourne Central’s food court.

Jammers work by transmitting a signal on the same radio frequency as mobile phones, disrupting communication between a phone and its base station. The most advanced devices can operate within a radius of up to 8km.

Countries that have banned the use of jamming devices have done so to avoid interference in public mobile telecommunications services. There is growing concern about the clever gadgets being used for criminal intent.

Use your phone on the go to make cheap mobile calls to friends and family. Just remember to keep your voice down and report anyone you suspect may be using illegal phone jammers.

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