Signal jammers are often illegal for a reason – they can take out all communications in an area, including the ability to dial 911. But a French father in the town of Messanges, France, clearly didn’t know that. He was just trying to get his social media-addicted kids off the internet between midnight and 3 am so they would get some sleep.
A report from the outlet France Bleu says the dad used a multi-wave band jammer, seemingly without knowing its power. These are illegal in France (as well as the U.S.). They work by interfering with all communication signals, not just the internet. Authoritarian regimes often use them to stop the spread of information during revolts.
It wasn’t until neighbors started complaining that the government was forced to investigate the reason for the broader power outage and questioned the father. According to French authorities:
“He was thinking of depriving only his children of the internet and did not imagine that the wave jammer he was using would disrupt telecommunications in an area spanning two municipalities. An investigation by the National Frequency Agency established his responsibility and legal proceedings were initiated.”
You read that correct – legal proceedings. It’s a pretty big deal (and could have had dangerous consequences) to strip your neighbors, even accidentally, of the ability to communicate with the outside world.
That’s why dad is now facing a fine of 30,000 Euros and six months in jail. – WTF Fun Facts