Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Let's Roll!

Apparently, short-fused sourpusses like yours truly are increasingly using jammers to block other people's cell phone calls:

One afternoon in early September, an architect boarded his commuter train and became a cellphone vigilante. He sat down next to a 20-something woman who he said was “blabbing away” into her phone.

“She was using the word ‘like’ all the time. She sounded like a Valley Girl,” said the architect, Andrew, who declined to give his last name because what he did next was illegal.

Andrew reached into his shirt pocket and pushed a button on a black device the size of a cigarette pack. It sent out a powerful radio signal that cut off the chatterer’s cellphone transmission — and any others in a 30-foot radius.
It's funny until someone gets hurt. Given the role passenger cell phones played in the downing of United Flight 93, I'd say that people who try to carry jammers onto an airplane should be viewed with at least as much suspicion as blind Calypsonians and phylactery-wielding Jews. Especially when they've got these potentially deadly weapons disguised as cigarette packs. Or worse, cell phones.

If we're really serious about fighting terrorism, people who buy jammers (or the components required to make them) should be monitored much as we monitor people who buy Sudafed; if their surnames or political enthusiasms seem to warrant it, we should add them to the No-Fly List.

These days, you can't be too careful.

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