Why was a father sabotaging his village’s communications?

A seemingly uneventful family man from a quiet town decided that a very expensive and illegal multiband jammer was the only valid weapon against his offspring’s bad digital habits.

It is a comical story to say the least that recently took place in the Landes town of Messanges. In a news post, the National Agency of Frequencies (ANFR) explains that it was seized of a rather strange complaint: during the night, a good part of the inhabitants found themselves deprived of Internet. It was not a breakdown, but the reaction of a father exasperated by the bad habits of his children!

The story began near the Toulouse Regional Service of the ANFR, which dispatched a team to investigate this mysterious case. The division then sent a laboratory vehicle, specially equipped to identify any problem in the field of waves. And very quickly, the screen of his spectrum analyzer showed him a harmless graph for an uninitiated, but apparently very evocative for a professional; no doubt, it is indeed the characteristic mark of a wave jammer.

A real treasure hunt

And this is where everything gets complicated, because the ANFR recalls that these devices are simply prohibited for individuals on French territory. These are devices that can be very dangerous when misused, insofar as they could, for example, block certain urgent or even vital communications. Using one, or even the mere fact of owning one, is therefore liable to a heavy fine.

The ANFR team therefore set out to find the owner of the machine to ask him to account. To do this, the agents used a device called a radio direction finder mounted on their vehicle. It is an instrument which makes it possible to determine the direction of emission of a wave; handy in wartime to identify the position of enemy aircraft… or in peacetime to hunt for jamming signals. So it didn’t take them long to track down the origin of the signal. They therefore called on the police to go and discuss the problem with the person concerned, a father who would have recognized the facts immediately.

The fatal weapon against the addiction of his teenagers

The most important question remains: why would an uneventful resident of a quiet little town acquire military-grade equipment capable of jamming both the mobile network and Wi-Fi? The reason invoked is rather amusing: he had indeed gone to war… but against his own children! Indeed, they apparently no longer had to do without social networks, especially since the start of the pandemic and confinements. A bad habit that was starting to seriously intrude on their sleep time.

Exasperated to find them online at three in the morning, he ended up choosing the most radical solution. Neither one nor two, he skipped the steps of parental control, confiscation, and other more diplomatic means to go directly to the stage of pure and simple sabotage. A hell of an escalation that could cost him very, very dearly; Indeed, the ANFR recalls that the possession and illicit use of a jammer are “both subject to a criminal sanction of up to 6 months’ imprisonment and a fine of €30,000.. For the moment, he got away with 450€ of intervention costs and a summons for confiscation of the machine; the neighbors have regained their connection. Moral of the story: in the case of a recalcitrant teenager, the jammer is not a viable option. On good terms!

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