Fantasies about jamming cellphones on public transit

When I have to listen to a woman whine about her boyfriend, or some guy bitching about his fantasy football team, I sometimes wish I could just shut off the phones or jam the network.

A guy on a Philadelphia bus did just that, and more than once. And he boasted about it on a network newscast:

“A lot of people are extremely loud, no sense of just privacy or anything. When it becomes a bother, that’s when I screw on the antenna [on a jamming device] and flip the switch,” said Eric.

Unfortunately, what Eric was doing is illegal, a federal offense that could result in jail time and up to a $16,000 fine.

Have you ever jammed cellphones on a bus or train?

And what’s your favorite overheard cell snippet? Mine continues to be:

“I ain’t even had sex, why do my legs hurt so bad?”


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  • Sounds more like a public service than a crime.

  • B R A V O Eric - Just like people don't GIVE A PHUCK about disturbing your peace, I am truly G L A D to see somebody else PHUCK them.

    Again - B R A V O Eric.

  • In reply to mikep621:

    Well, jamming cell phones is also jamming people QUIETLY texting or web-surfing on their phones, so PHUCK people who don't get that!

    And what peace? It's the L. It isn't going to be quiet even if we all sit silently with our hands folded like we're in kindergarten.

  • The reason it's illegal is that no one ever thinks about the unintended consequences. If a device can jam every phone on a bus, it's also causing interference in a sphere outside the bus. Not to mention jamming the any other radio devices near the bus. What happens in an emergency when someone can't call for help?

    This kind of behavior is just as selfish as the loud talkers. I hope he pays and others think twice before taking matters into their own hands.

  • Theaters used to do it. Apparently they could point the gps tower finder into neverland.

    Anyway, CTA won't because they would lose the revenue from leasing out the subway communications system.

    And, of course, Eric gave the usual legal b.s. answer, and NBC10 didn't indicate whether they called the feds on him.

  • I once heard half a conversation about someone being Lucille Ball's illegitimate daughter. I wish I could have heard the person on the other end of the line.

  • Hilarious!
    My best one was walking behind a young dude, who was loudly complaining that the week before he'd been standing on a train platform and had plugged his phone in to juice up the battery. Only got arrested and charged with theft from the CTA.

  • In reply to Expat in Chicago:

    There was a story a couple of years ago about someone finding out where the electric outlet was on an L car and tapping in.

  • I would be furious if the cell phone talkers meant I couldn't quietly browse the internet on my phone during my L ride.

  • In reply to owine:

    Not to mention there are plenty of loud people without a cell phone.

  • In reply to owine:

    As I mentioned above, one technique is to prevent the phone from finding the cell tower, so if that technique is used, yes.

    But, as the CTA Tattler has demonstrated on various occasions, more than likely your smartphone would be stolen if exhibited on or around CTA property or vehicles.

  • At least in the "olden days" of the flip phone, the mouth piece was close enough to the mouth that people didn't have to shout. Now, with a tiny thing that barely covers the ear, people have to shout to have a phone conversation at all. (How old do I sound?)

  • Even with the smaller phones you still don't need to shout.

  • I'd be happy if they could fix it so no phone would ring for an inordinately long time before the owner got around to answering it.

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