I truly thought these little devices called cell phone jammers only existed in the movies, but now we are hearing that the general public in real life has been able to get their hands on them. The gadget that can prevent cell phones from contacting their base station thus preventing calls from happening, made headlines last week after a man in Philadelphia used one on a bus to quit his "extremely loud" fellow passengers. What do you think of these new devices?  

Not only do cell phone jammers have proponents, they are actually against the law. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) says "We remind and warn consumers that it is a violation of federal law to use a cell jammer or similar devices that intentionally block, jam, or interfere with authorized radio communications such as cell phones, police radar, GPS, and Wi-Fi," on its website.

At the same time, apparently the issue of whether a third-party has the right to block cellular transmissions isn't actually cut and dried. They can come in handy in helping to make the public more safe by possibly putting them in cars to prevent use while driving and use by law enforcement agencies to shut down mobile networks in the name of public safety, as San Francisco's Bay Area Rapid Transit did last August when it tried to prevent a protest.

The FCC is actually currently asking for public comments about whether it's ever appropriate for anyone to use cell phone jammmers. You have until April 30 to weigh in on the issue. To do so using the Internet, visit the FCC's Electronic Comment Filing System.