Links to mobile jammers

Discussion in 'Feedback and Suggestions' started by Distort10n, Aug 15, 2008.

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  1. Distort10n

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Dec 25, 2006
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    I noticed when people ask for mobile jammer schematics, the threads are closed.
    I was curious as to why this is if we (I) are only providing the information. Schematics of mobile jammers are not illegal and to pass along information is not in violation of any laws that I am aware of.
    The only reason I found schematics of a mobile jammer actually came from a well respected engineering publication: IEEE Spectrum.
    I even have slides on the Massachusetts' Subway hack (clever those MIT guy's).
    What is the concern?
     
  2. thingmaker3

    Retired Moderator

    May 16, 2005
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    You have asked a valid question. I will try to give a good answer.

    Please look at the Rules, Code of Conduct and Terms and Conditions of Usage, item two, second paragraph:
    Please consider also that in many nations, cell phones are often used to contact emergency services in life or death situations.

    We have simply chosen to err on the side of caution.
     
  3. HarveyH42

    Active Member

    Jul 22, 2007
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    The majority of public cell phone usage these days seems to be mindless chit-chat, and is more often the cause of emergency, and life and death situations. Driver's should be banned from using them while one the road (pull it over and park!). In the middle east, cell phones seem to be a favorite IED detonation device. To each their own, but cell phone abuse is crossing over from the right to use, and abuse and intrusion. I think eventually, there will be some concessions made in the right to block. The cell phone user's should be required to make some effort to keep their conversations private.

    But as it stands, block radio communications is an illegal activity, so posting or encouraging such materials wouldn't be in the best interest of the site. I like the forum, much more than cell phones, and we shouldn't abuse it.
     
  4. Distort10n

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Dec 25, 2006
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    This particular rule is a stretch. Providing a schematic to another member does no harm to that member in question.

    Does anyone know if actually having a jammer is illegal is it the active blocking of frequencies that is illegal? So far I see it like a tobacco water pipe (bong) you can sell and acquire them as long as you are not smoking pot in them.

    If you blocked your own cell phone after you built the jammer, I doubt it would be an issue. For someone to tinker in their own home is not the same as it would be testing in out in the field on other people.

    There apparently is no issue with IEEE Spectrum including the link to Simon Fried's website (MIT Student) whose Master's Thesis actually describes in detail how to build a cellphone jammer. Her website is still up and active and anyone can download her thesis.

    At what point do you draw the line? Simply do not post the schematic? How about just the link to her website? Not allowed to mention her name for others to Google (not hard to find).

    Even posting her name and saying 'Google it' can fall under the awfully wide rule that Thingmaker posted.
     
  5. thingmaker3

    Retired Moderator

    May 16, 2005
    5,072
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    We're not looking for some line in the sand, nor any precise definition of what may or may not be posted. We are simply asking folk to take this particular topic to some other place. There are many such places available for persons who feel they must discuss this topic.
     
  6. Dave

    Retired Moderator

    Nov 17, 2003
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    Just wanted to add a little to this discussion about mobile phone jammers.

    Mobile phone jammers are illegal in many countries, and from looking at the demographic make-up of the AAC community, this applies to some degree in the countries of the majority of forum members. When talking about legalities, there are varying degrees to which jammers are illegal; for instance in the US AFAIK mobile phone jammers are illegal to use or trade in accordance with the Communications Act 1934, in the UK only the use of jammers is illegal, then there instances where they are illegal other than conditional use (e.g. can only be used by the police), and in other countries (Australia, Canada, several parts of the EU) jammers are totally illegal.

    So from a few examples here, the complexities in the legalities of mobile phone jammers is clear. In terms of forum moderation it is an equally complex task deciphering what is potentially suitable from an academic perspective at what point does it potentially compromise our duty of care to the discussions here at AAC.

    I think thingmaker3 made a pretty good example in his first post in this thread on the potential harm of using jammers - this is probably the basis of why such devices are illegal in many countries. There is a further part to the quote from the forum rules that thingmaker3 made:

    This discussion has been had before, and the consensus was to remove all discussions on mobile phone jammers.

    Dave
     
  7. Distort10n

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Dec 25, 2006
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    I don't buy into the so called legal issues from various countries. Simply put, IEEE is a worldwide publication and you can pull up the article 'Zone of Silence' on IEEE Spectrum Online. The link to Fried's article is smack dab in the middle of the article. You go to her website and she produly proclaims her Alta Mater, MIT. If the legal issues where that murky and complex, I fail to see why MIT, IEEE, or Miss Fried would ignore them.

    I highly doubt there is an issue with discussing and sharing information on a cell phone jammer. If a person goes out and uses it and gets caught then that is on them not AAC.

    I rather have the AAC admin just state "we do not feel comfortable with this material" rather than manufacture some sort of 'excuse' (for the lack of a better term).
     
  8. Dave

    Retired Moderator

    Nov 17, 2003
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    Whether you buy the legal issues or not, it is the way it is. The IEEE operates worldwide but is not the defacto professional institution around the world, for example here in the UK we have the IET which takes the role of the IEEE in the US.

    Might I also add that just because you can pull something up on the Internet does not make it legal around the world; for example you guys in the US probably have many websites dedicated to guns for the hobbyist, which are perfectly suitable and acceptable in the US - I can pull those websites up here in the UK but that doesn't mean that guns are legal here in the UK.

    I have acknowledged previously that there is some academic benefit to studying jammer circuits, that doesn't affect the legal status of such devices around the world. Similarly, there are academic benefits to studying circuits that can maim people, again that doesn't affect the legal status of such devices.

    Absolutely, but we try to moderate such discussion where appropriate. We sometimes get questions asking about help with remote detonation circuits. There is nothing illegal about discussing remote detonation circuitry, but do you think it is a good idea to have such topics openly discussed here at AAC? Incidentally, the information is available elsewhere on the Internet.

    Having discussed this matter at length, the admin and mods came to a consensus that we did not want this topic openly discussed because of legal and moral reasons, and general comfort with the material.

    If you wish to describe taking account of legal considerations for an application that is widely illegal around the world as an "excuse" then so be it.

    Dave
     
  9. Wendy

    Moderator

    Mar 24, 2008
    20,765
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    My personal take is I don't see any good reason for them. You can endanger lives with jamming, but the reverse is not true. Putting up with cell phones is at best a minor inconvenience.

    There is also a fundamental concept of freedom of information. How can a jammer support this concept? (I know, catch 22).

    My personal experience is most of my early experiments of RF oscillators made quite decent jammers, at least my Dad thought so. One of the common expressions when his TV reception went in the toilet was "Turn it Off". The TV reception then mysteriously cleared.
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2008
  10. HarveyH42

    Active Member

    Jul 22, 2007
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    My dad used that same line. I use to get in trouble all the time, mostly it was just regular poor reception. He never really appreciated my interest in electronics, little intimidated I think.

    I don't personally have anything against cell phones, just believe people should be more considerate and discrete about using them. I personally have only made two calls on a cell phone, and will avoid them for as lond as land lines are available, or something better comes around. Just a little too close to having a microwave oven stuck to the side of your head...

    Fortunately, my neighbor's woman kicked him out, and no more pacing in front of my house with cell phone in 2-way radio mode. Those chirps really pissed off my dog. I let him out a few times, but he just went a sat next to him and growled. Wonder if i could mimic that sound to mess with my new dog...
     
  11. barryusa

    New Member

    Jun 15, 2008
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    When I am in someones elses home I consider myself a guest.

    I have been ALLOWED to come into the AAC website, it is NOT A RIGHT that I am entitled to. If my host(s) state that they expect certain conditions or behavior on my part then I am obligated to obey those conditions/behavior. I do not expect the admins/mods to have to justify their decisions. Asking for a reason is in most cases not out of line, debating their reasoning IS.

    The site admins and mods provide a very informative, useful, and valuble resource at no cost to me. A site for which I am very thankful to have access to. I do not feel it a burden on my part to show them some respect by obeying their rules.

    As has been stated, the information can be found elsewhere. They don't want it here and thats good enough for me!
     
  12. Wendy

    Moderator

    Mar 24, 2008
    20,765
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    One of the things I like best about this site (among many, many things) is the mods are willing to talk and explain, and not just lay down the law. I've been to another site where this is not the case, it makes me appreciate here all the more.
     
  13. HarveyH42

    Active Member

    Jul 22, 2007
    425
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    Yes, that is a good thing, but I don't like the arguments and debates that commonly follow. We are guest here, the owners set the rules, if we don't like them, we are free to go elsewhere. Stating an opinion is one thing, but arguing, complaining, to change or bend some very simple and reasonable rules just ain't right for a guest.
    Haven't seen the lawsuit guy in a few weeks now, guess he took it elsewhere. That was one of the worst cases I've seen on any site, kind of really points out one of the failings of our judicial system.

    The administrator and moderators should have complete control, and really shouldn't have to explain or defend their actions. It is nice to see there was a problem, and how it was resolved, might keep it from happening again.
     
  14. Felix

    New Member

    Sep 24, 2008
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    amazing, I'm about as conservative as it gets, Ive been on this site for about 10 mins and I can relate to the people behind the iron curtain. shhh don't talk about something just dosen't fly anymore. Its old school and then some. Do you realize we have soldiers that are DYING in the middle east from IED's that are triggered by Cell and long range cordless phones? The jammers they are using JUST DON'T WORK. It would be nice if some of you high brow types got off your collective moderate a**es and developed something that does work. I'm sure this will never see light of day but whomever you are I will move on to another site and urge my military students to do the same.
     
  15. scubasteve_911

    Senior Member

    Dec 27, 2007
    1,202
    1
    Guys,

    If you want to discuss potentially harmful ideas, please do it somewhere else. As a contributor and user of this site, I don't appreciate such discussion and stand behind the moderators on this issue.

    A moral person will not disclose dangerous information about such topics. Clearly, some teenager or deviant is going to be searching for ways to be destructive and could possibly end up sourcing information from this site. This is a slippery slope and I'm glad the moderators have enforced good moral judgement.

    People with high-level knowledge have a responsibility to do good with it, it's what you should have learned in school. I took a vow to protect the public as my primary responsibility as an engineer and I intend to keep it.

    Steve
     
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