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Florida man drove around as a cellphone-jamming vigilante for two years

Florida man drove around as a cellphone-jamming vigilante for two years

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No one likes seeing distracted drivers on the road, but Jason Humphreys went a step too far (several, really) in trying to combat the problem. Florida hasn't yet outlawed talking on the phone while driving, so for two years, Humphreys carried a powerful cellphone jammer in his car during the daily commute to work. The jammer crippled cell reception for those around him along a stretch of Interstate 4.

Humphreys' goal was likely to prevent nearby motorists from placing a call, sending a text, or checking their Facebook feed while driving. But as the FCC angrily points out, he also may have unknowingly disrupted "first-responder communications" such as 911 calls. Cell jammers are illegal in the United States — largely because it's easy for them to get in the way of emergency calls. The commission says Humphreys now faces $48,000 in fines for the reckless stunt.

And he almost got away with it. It wasn't Verizon, AT&T, or Sprint that caught on to the problem. Instead, MetroPCS eventually noticed that reception was flatlining along the same point of I-4 twice each day. Once the FCC became aware of the situation, it used "sophisticated interference detection techniques" to track the problem down to Humphreys and his Toyota Highlander. When officers finally pulled him over, it didn't take long to confirm their suspicions. As they approached Humphreys' car, officers immediately noticed that their radios lost all contact with dispatch. The FCC is using the unfortunate case to remind consumers that using a jammer is "illegal under any circumstances" and can also result in jail time — though it seems Humphreys only needs to worry about the damage to his bank account.