A French dad risks jail time and a large fine after employing a signal jammer to prevent his children from getting online, effectively shutting down the whole of a surrounding town.
A signal jammer is a device that sends out radio waves at the same frequency as mobile devices to prevent them from connecting to cell towers and receiving legitimate signals. These gadgets were originally designed for use by the military and law enforcement to tackle threats such as cell phone-triggered explosives and hostage situations.
The French village of Messages discovered that their cellular and Internet service was no longer operational beginning at midnight and lasting until 3 a.m. every day of the week.
After a mobile carrier reported the problem to the Agence nationale des fréquences (ANFR), the French government organisation in charge of maintaining the radioelectric spectrum, it was discovered that a signal jammer was being used to block radio frequencies in the town.
An ANFR employee began assessing the blackout at night, only to discover that a jammer was being deployed. To figure out what was going on, the examiner employed spectrum analyser equipment.
The next day, one of the locals came forwards to claim that he had used a jammer to prevent internet connectivity since his teenagers had grown “addicted” to social media because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Unfortunately, he now faces a large fine and, in the worst-case scenario, incarceration. In France, using jammers is prohibited, with a potential fine of €30,000 and a jail term of up to six months.