Image: ANFR

A French man is facing up to six months in jail and a fine of 30,000 euros for using a multi-wave band jammer to keep his kids offline but failing to realize that the device was preventing anyone in his neighborhood from accessing the internet as well. Lack of connectivity for several nights in the town of Messanges had prompted an investigation by France’s National Frequency Agency, which ultimately discovered the culprit to be a man who simply wanted to limit his kids’ screentime but was apparently unaware of more sensible solutions such as router controls. Jammers, which are used to interfere with telecommunication signals, are, naturally, also illegal in the U.S.

Without knowing it, a father deprives his neighbors of internet and telephone in the Landes (Machine Translation) (France Bleu)

  • It all started with the alert of a mobile telephone operator: one of its antennas no longer worked at night in Messanges, generally between midnight and 3 am. To solve this mystery, a technician from the ANFR, the national frequency agency, went to the site, in Messanges, with a fully equipped laboratory vehicle , equipped with a direction finder on the roof, a detection device hostile waves.
  • A man, occupying this house, is then questioned. He immediately recognizes that he is using a multi-band wave jammer, capable of neutralizing mobile telephony but also wifi. He explains that he bought this device to deprive his children of the internet at night and prevent them from consulting social networks, which they were addicted to.
  • Every night, this Landais therefore plugged in this jammer, thinking to cut the telecommunications in his only house. Except that devices of this type often have a “wider range of action than one thinks or than the seller suggests” explains this Tuesday, February 8, the ANFR on its website. This is how this jammer disrupted mobile telephony in an area straddling two municipalities, including Messanges.

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