Frustrated Father Accidentally Takes Down Town's Internet

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DeadlyAura

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https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/ne...-internet-by-mistake-to-get-his-kids-offline/

I feel bad for the father who is likely facing some large fines and possible jail time.

Apparently he couldn't get his kids to put down the electronics and go to sleep, so he bought a cell jammer that would take down the cellular network in his home so that his kids wouldn't be able to stay up on their phones all night. Apparently the signal was strong enough that it was disrupting the network in a large portion of the town, and now the man is facing some steep penalties.
 

MaZa

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I doubt he will go to jail, his intentions were not malicious. But yeah, the fines are going to suck.
 

kirbyrj

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I doubt he will go to jail, his intentions were not malicious. But yeah, the fines are going to suck.

Depends. While there may be no criminal intent (and you could argue that the intent is actually good), the fact that it is illegal to use one in France could lead to a criminal penalty of some sort (likely more fines instead of jail time unless he has a criminal history).
 

DukenukemX

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Farther of the year ladies and gentlemen. Instead of just taking the devices away or even blocked them on the home wifi router or using metal screens on the doors and windows, he just buys a device that jams the signal. Personally I don't think the guy deserves any sort of fine or jail time because I doubt he knew his device was killing the signal in his town. Also look at the device he was using.

seized-jammer.jpg


It looks deceptively like a home router, and even has the 3G and 4G logos on it. There's a bigger issue for people to worry about and that's these devices. If this can take down a cellular network for an entire town, then imagine if people wanted to be malicious with these devices? This father wasn't but imagine buying a dozen of these and then spreading them out in an area and having them turn on at a certain time. Many crimes can be committed without anyone being able to reach the authorities in time. Nobody would know because these look like your typical wifi router.
 

kirbyrj

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Farther of the year ladies and gentlemen. Instead of just taking the devices away or even blocked them on the home wifi router or using metal screens on the doors and windows, he just buys a device that jams the signal. Personally I don't think the guy deserves any sort of fine or jail time because I doubt he knew his device was killing the signal in his town. Also look at the device he was using.

View attachment 446083

It looks deceptively like a home router, and even has the 3G and 4G logos on it. There's a bigger issue for people to worry about and that's these devices. If this can take down a cellular network for an entire town, then imagine if people wanted to be malicious with these devices? This father wasn't but imagine buying a dozen of these and then spreading them out in an area and having them turn on at a certain time. Many crimes can be committed without anyone being able to reach the authorities in time. Nobody would know because these look like your typical wifi router.

I agree with the sentiment that he's trying to be a good father...

BUT...
Blocking devices on the home router obviously wouldn't work because of a cellular connection, hence, his purchasing a jammer. Whether or not he knew what the device was capable of or his lack of malicious intent probably wouldn't matter because the mere use of the device is illegal in France (and the US also) so he is very much in danger of fines/jail. There are plenty of things that are perfectly legal to own and use that could potentially cause great damage (fertilizer or gasoline for example). There are things that are technically legal to own, but not to use and the use of the item could make you subject to penalties of some sort (radar detector, this cell phone jammer, for example). And there are things that are just flat out illegal to own or use and owning or using the item would subject you to potential penalties.

Good intentions may do as much harm as malevolence.
 

westrock2000

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On a serious note, if you are not aware as a parent or soon to be parent, there are LOTS of ways to restrict your kids digital freedoms now-a-days. And many of them are fully integrated into the operating systems.

My experiences so far (there may be stuff on other platforms, but this is what I have experienced)

You can use the OpenDNS family safe DNS IP Addresses to make devices not able to visit questionable websites. Set this for your kids devices in the network settings.
https://www.opendns.com/setupguide/?url=familyshield

Microsoft has a family setting that makes a microsoft account a parent account and then you can add other microsoft accounts as children. From there you can control access to both Windows and XBOX. My kids computers and XBOX are not accessible from 10PM to 7AM. They can not make purchases without my approval. Microsoft allows you to exclude other browsers from being installed on Windows so that only Edge can be used and then you can have control parental over Edge. My kids can't install anything on their PC without my permission.

Apple has similar family program where you set a parent account and then add children. You can limit screen time, you can limit purchases, you can block Safari access. You can blacklist websites, but you can also make it so that only approved websites work. There is also a adult content blocker. You can restrict based on content rating (like no explicit music allowed). My kids can't install a program on their iPhone or iPad unless I approve it (and it sends that request to my own devices). Even my sons Apple Watch can be limited by me.

There are also smart power switches that can be set to run on schedules to control any type of electronic device. My kids TV's are on Belkim WEMO switches and they turn off at 10PM on school nights and 11:15PM on Friday and Saturday night. The power comes back on at 6AM.

There are many ways to control your childrens access. And if they find ways around them, perhaps you could even be slightly proud that your children actually understand electronics and are resourceful :D

You don't have to let your kids get sucked into social media. You can save them.
 

GoodBoy

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Farther of the year ladies and gentlemen. Instead of just taking the devices away or even blocked them on the home wifi router or using metal screens on the doors and windows, he just buys a device that jams the signal. Personally I don't think the guy deserves any sort of fine or jail time because I doubt he knew his device was killing the signal in his town. Also look at the device he was using.

View attachment 446083

It looks deceptively like a home router, and even has the 3G and 4G logos on it. There's a bigger issue for people to worry about and that's these devices. If this can take down a cellular network for an entire town, then imagine if people wanted to be malicious with these devices? This father wasn't but imagine buying a dozen of these and then spreading them out in an area and having them turn on at a certain time. Many crimes can be committed without anyone being able to reach the authorities in time. Nobody would know because these look like your typical wifi router.
Keep in mind that the "Town" consists of 961 people. It's less than 3 miles x 3 miles. Chances are the 'majority' of the population that lost internet lives within a half mile of each other at the town center.

But I guess it is a bit concerning that the thing had effectively a 1 mile range. Wonder what the wattage output is.

Anyway, in towns that small, everyone knows everyone else. They might end up not even making him pay the fine.
 

Zarathustra[H]

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https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/ne...-internet-by-mistake-to-get-his-kids-offline/

I feel bad for the father who is likely facing some large fines and possible jail time.

Apparently he couldn't get his kids to put down the electronics and go to sleep, so he bought a cell jammer that would take down the cellular network in his home so that his kids wouldn't be able to stay up on their phones all night. Apparently the signal was strong enough that it was disrupting the network in a large portion of the town, and now the man is facing some steep penalties.

It would have been easier to confiscate and lock up the devices they used overnight.

Everyone who has a teen knows that you draw up a contract for appropriate use before letting them them have the device, and you strictly enforce it.

One of the rules always has to be that devices are charged overnight outside of their bedrooms, and if they violate that, then you have to find a locked place outside of their bedrooms and enforce consequences.

It is a weak parent who resorts to sneakily disabling the service instead of confronting the kid head on.
 
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MaZa

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Farther of the year ladies and gentlemen. Instead of just taking the devices away or even blocked them on the home wifi router or using metal screens on the doors and windows, he just buys a device that jams the signal. Personally I don't think the guy deserves any sort of fine or jail time because I doubt he knew his device was killing the signal in his town. Also look at the device he was using.

View attachment 446083

It looks deceptively like a home router, and even has the 3G and 4G logos on it. There's a bigger issue for people to worry about and that's these devices. If this can take down a cellular network for an entire town, then imagine if people wanted to be malicious with these devices? This father wasn't but imagine buying a dozen of these and then spreading them out in an area and having them turn on at a certain time. Many crimes can be committed without anyone being able to reach the authorities in time. Nobody would know because these look like your typical wifi router.

Yeah, where on earth one can even source a device like that? If these are easy to buy from, say, Aliexpress then we may have a problem.
 

NattyKathy

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Gotta be honest, I do not feel bad for guy. Not that punitive punishment is my thing (and I genuinely hope he doesn't get jail time), but I'm also not buying the "oopsie!" deal. Part of living in a town / village / city / etc is taking the responsibility- especially as a head of household- to give at least some consideration how your actions affect people outside the walls of your own home. Not being fully familiar with the technology is understandable, but it's the 2020's and adults should have a notion that radio waves don't necessarily stop at the front door. Or would at least have checked with the seller or manufacturer to see the jamming radius and make sure it would only affect the desired targets, which should be an extremely early and basic step when planning an ECM deployment. If someone doesn't know that, then they shouldn't be deploying ECMs. To me it sounds like father was unable / willing to psychologically, emotionally, and logistically engage directly with his children to foster cooperation, so instead he made it the entire town's problem by coming up with a hacky, sneaky, and half-baked solution.

I am also curious where these are openly sold o_O I've heard about them being used in heists here in the US very occasionally, but this is the first time I've heard of some random-ass person just ending up with one and breaking the town by trying to use it for Normie Stuff.
 

Zarathustra[H]

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Gotta be honest, I do not feel bad for guy. Not that punitive punishment is my thing (and I genuinely hope he doesn't get jail time), but I'm also not buying the "oopsie!" deal. Part of living in a town / village / city / etc is taking the responsibility- especially as a head of household- to give at least some consideration how your actions affect people outside the walls of your own home. Not being fully familiar with the technology is understandable, but it's the 2020's and adults should have a notion that radio waves don't necessarily stop at the front door. Or would at least have checked with the seller or manufacturer to see the jamming radius and make sure it would only affect the desired targets, which should be an extremely early and basic step when planning an ECM deployment. If someone doesn't know that, then they shouldn't be deploying ECMs. To me it sounds like father was unable / willing to psychologically, emotionally, and logistically engage directly with his children to foster cooperation, so instead he made it the entire town's problem by coming up with a hacky, sneaky, and half-baked solution.

I am also curious where these are openly sold o_O I've heard about them being used in heists here in the US very occasionally, but this is the first time I've heard of some random-ass person just ending up with one and breaking the town by trying to use it for Normie Stuff.

I'm not sure where they come from either, but I have heard a few other stories of people getting in trouble using them, like the pastor who bought one in 2014 to keep his congregants phones from ringing during Sunday service, so they must not be THAT difficult to get your hands on. He apparently had permission from local law enforcement (but not from the FCC) and it still backfired.

Also from 2014, the FCC fined a retailer ~$35M for selling the jammers. No idea how much more difficult it has become to find one since.

Because I was curious, I searched for cellphone jammers on eBay, but only turned up some small faraday-cage like products which shouldn't be a problem.

Searching on Alibaba does result in a few hits. They would probably ship them direct from China in order to avoid any entanglements with U.S. regulators. Since the retailer has no presence in the U.S. there is little they can do about it.
 

Sycraft

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I doubt he will go to jail, his intentions were not malicious. But yeah, the fines are going to suck.
He most likely will, or at least get probation. Jamming radio signals is illegal. Doesn't matter why, you aren't allowed to do it. So even if you didn't mean cause any harm, you were still doing something illegal. Generally if you cause harm while doing something illegal, you are getting in trouble even if it wasn't your intent to cause harm.
 

KD5ZXG

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Leave door off microwave. Aim slightly upwind of enemies. Let breeze do the rest.
 
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Spun Ducky

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Hoping he gets serious trouble from this. That same time of jamming signals could have caused someone to die that needed emergency help. Ignorance is no excuse nor are good intentions. Obviously researched enough to find a jammer to buy and too stupid to find a better solution.
 
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OutOfPhase

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I feel this is the ultimate in externalizing problems.

1. Electronics go to into the night time box. Just a cardboard box, but that's where all the pads phones tablets switches, etc go.
2. Profit.

You don't need to jam an entire town, just control your own house.
 
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Zarathustra[H]

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I feel this is the ultimate in externalizing problems.

1. Electronics go to into the night time box. Just a cardboard box, but that's where all the pads phones tablets switches, etc go.
2. Profit.

You don't need to jam an entire town, just control your own house.

Exactly.

If you have a problem with compliance (device disappears from box in the middle of night) then they lose device privileges for a month.

You are the parent. It is your job to to directly grab problems by the horns. Don't blame the 5g.
 

DukenukemX

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BUT...
Blocking devices on the home router obviously wouldn't work because of a cellular connection, hence, his purchasing a jammer.
Depends on how stupid your family is when leaving wifi on when it isn't working.
 

Nobu

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Farther of the year ladies and gentlemen. Instead of just taking the devices away or even blocked them on the home wifi router or using metal screens on the doors and windows, he just buys a device that jams the signal. Personally I don't think the guy deserves any sort of fine or jail time because I doubt he knew his device was killing the signal in his town. Also look at the device he was using.

View attachment 446083

It looks deceptively like a home router, and even has the 3G and 4G logos on it. There's a bigger issue for people to worry about and that's these devices. If this can take down a cellular network for an entire town, then imagine if people wanted to be malicious with these devices? This father wasn't but imagine buying a dozen of these and then spreading them out in an area and having them turn on at a certain time. Many crimes can be committed without anyone being able to reach the authorities in time. Nobody would know because these look like your typical wifi router.
Doesn't take much to jam a wireless device. All you need to do is raise the noise floor above the transmit strength of one of the two devices, and you've effectively crippled the network.
 

Okatis

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Keep in mind that the "Town" consists of 961 people. It's less than 3 miles x 3 miles. Chances are the 'majority' of the population that lost internet lives within a half mile of each other at the town center.

But I guess it is a bit concerning that the thing had effectively a 1 mile range. Wonder what the wattage output is.
My first thought was whether he just happened to be coincidentally positioned nearby some primary cell tower.
 

Balkroth

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That sounds like a dumb way to stop your kids from being on devices, and he should clearly get some punishment for that. Personally I'd say just let the kids use the devices, but eh.

Buuut, I mean if you really want to do it in a more fun way, buy an old SCSN-9000 for $300 or so, a SCRN-220 with the same frequency bands as what your carrier uses, set up a magma vEPC (or any other open source guy) ,vHSS, vIMS. Crank down the power on the radio so it really only covers your area needed, add your Kids Sims to the HSS so they'll attach to your LTE network. Don't have it on during the day, turn on when needed, just don't have the vEPC with interweb access. Probably could be an issue in emergencies I suppose, so that's not good.

Also terribly Illegal to use licensed bands of course. So you could do it the more legal way and get a contract with a SAS administrator, run a CBRS radio instead, have your kids have dual sims and kinda the same thing, little more effort I guess there.
 
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Hakaba

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Both of my near teens do not have cell phones. Additionally, most if not all social media is blocked on their networks. If there was any net benefit to those services then they might get a hour or so a day.

But as someone else said just have the kids turn in the device before bed. Or, if they fail to listen take it and return it when they earn the privilege back.
 

M76

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The ends never justify the means. Ignorance of the law cannot be a valid defense no matter the circumstances. Using a device that you don't fully understand should be an aggravating, not mitigating factor in punishment.
 

MaZa

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He most likely will, or at least get probation. Jamming radio signals is illegal. Doesn't matter why, you aren't allowed to do it. So even if you didn't mean cause any harm, you were still doing something illegal. Generally if you cause harm while doing something illegal, you are getting in trouble even if it wasn't your intent to cause harm.

Probation is more likely if a more severe sentence is going to be dished out. EU isn't USA, jailtime in cell is not usually dished out left and right from screw ups of ignorance. You can if the case is severe but as it was said you can get UP TO 6 months of jail. I believe the crime is not considered a severe and the short jail time is for malicious or just hopeless cases of people with previous sentences.
 

Red Falcon

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internet forums are a form of social network ;) So was BBS and email chains
I highly doubt they were browsing forums, using BBS systems, or email chains.
While you aren't incorrect, comparing those to modern social networks is hilarious, and especially so if you think those are what modern youth are into these days.

Since this isn't the 1980s or 1990s, this is more along the lines of what the youth in 2022 would be browsing unsupervised:

TikTok.jpg


5f19bcf13f7370553763fa86?width=1200&format=jpeg.jpg


best-tiktok-dance.jpg


tiktok_1.jpg


Oh yeah, these are totally like forums, BBS systems, and email chains... :whistle:
 
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NattyKathy

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I highly doubt they were browsing forums, using BBS systems, or email chains.
While you aren't incorrect, comparing those to modern social networks is hilarious, and especially so if you think those are what modern youth are into these days.

Since this isn't the 1980s or 1990s, this is more along the lines of what the youth in 2022 would be browsing unsupervised:

View attachment 446277

View attachment 446278

View attachment 446279

View attachment 446280

Oh yeah, these are totally like forums, BBS systems, and email chains... :whistle:
wait... how... how old do people think I am?
I've seen plenty of Tik Toks, and I'm also just old enough to remember the kind of irreverent mayhem was going on in chatrooms and forums 20 years ago and the main difference I see is that everyone has a high-quality digital videocam and NLE software on their handheld computer now so we see more faces and the production value of the shitposting is higher.
Also, online makeup tutorials have always been a thing, dunno why people focus on that aspect of Tik Tok so much.
 

Red Falcon

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wait... how... how old do people think I am?
I've seen plenty of Tik Toks, and I'm also just old enough to remember the kind of irreverent mayhem was going on in chatrooms and forums 20 years ago and the main difference I see is that everyone has a high-quality digital videocam and NLE software on their handheld computer now so we see more faces and the production value of the shitposting is higher.
I don't remember there being a vast amount of suicides, shootings, murders, violence, etc. by youths 20 years ago en masse like what is going on right now; especially the suicides.
Cultures that focus on and put core values into social media are going down the toilet and have completely lost sense of themselves and what is truly important in life.

internet-then-vs-now.jpg

^ The sad thing is, while in 2014 that commentary was a bit out there, it is all too accurate in 2022.

Oh well, it wouldn't be the dark cyberpunk future without willingness for oppression and self-destruction by individuals through the false narrative brought about by megacorps for "betterment" and the latest trends. :borg:

Also, online makeup tutorials have always been a thing, dunno why people focus on that aspect of Tik Tok so much.
I wasn't trying to focus on those, it just happened to be in those pics, so take with that what you will.
 

magnetik

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I think the biggest issue is emergency services. They don't f' around when you mess with it. I could have sworn there was a similar story years ago when these jammers were all over alibaba and they triangulated a guy going to work everyday with one in his trunk.
 

The Mad Atheist

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I think the biggest issue is emergency services. They don't f' around when you mess with it. I could have sworn there was a similar story years ago when these jammers were all over alibaba and they triangulated a guy going to work everyday with one in his trunk.
Especially when more and more people forget or don't have hardwired lines anymone, except in businesses.
I can't remember the last time I seen a payphone anywhere, least a emergency call box, might be some on long spanning bridges.
 

TordanGow

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It would have been easier to confiscate and lock up the devices they used overnight.

Everyone who has a teen knows that you draw up a contract for appropriate use before letting them them have the device, and you strictly enforce it.

One of the rules always has to be that devices are charged overnight outside of their bedrooms, and if they violate that, then you have to find a locked place outside of their bedrooms and enforce consequences.

It is a weak parent who resorts to sneakily disabling the service instead of confronting the kid head on.
Was going to say basically this.

I have two kids. The rule is no "entertainment" electronics (laptops, tablets, phones, etc.) in the bedroom after bed time. Period. Non entertainment electronics are fine, ie. an alarm clock.

It really is that simple. Set up a rule. Enforce it. Done.
 

Balkroth

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Especially when more and more people forget or don't have hardwired lines anymone, except in businesses.
I can't remember the last time I seen a payphone anywhere, least a emergency call box, might be some on long spanning bridges.
There's still emergency call box along interstate highways, at least in Missouri, forget how often they have them though.

I still see payphones every now and then, I think the last time I saw one was in a bar though, so that was a few years ago, pretty sure I've seen some at hospitals as well.
 

Derangel

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All this hassle about what to and what not to let kids do and the insane amount of work parents have to do these days to keep them safe online makes me glad I have no desire to have kids.

More on topic: This father is an idiot and deserves some kind of fine. Also could learn to actually take devices away from children that don’t listen. When I was growing up my mother would physically take things out of my bedroom if I was misbehaving. Didn’t get a cell until I was in college so that never had to dealt with.
 

DukenukemX

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Gotta be honest, I do not feel bad for guy. Not that punitive punishment is my thing (and I genuinely hope he doesn't get jail time), but I'm also not buying the "oopsie!" deal. Part of living in a town / village / city / etc is taking the responsibility- especially as a head of household- to give at least some consideration how your actions affect people outside the walls of your own home.
I really doubt the guy was aware of what was going on. Especially if he only ran the device at night when it was time to go to bed. How would you know if your device was blocking signals from your neighbors unless you ran around town with your phone looking signal strength.
Not being fully familiar with the technology is understandable, but it's the 2020's and adults should have a notion that radio waves don't necessarily stop at the front door. Or would at least have checked with the seller or manufacturer to see the jamming radius and make sure it would only affect the desired targets, which should be an extremely early and basic step when planning an ECM deployment. If someone doesn't know that, then they shouldn't be deploying ECMs. To me it sounds like father was unable / willing to psychologically, emotionally, and logistically engage directly with his children to foster cooperation, so instead he made it the entire town's problem by coming up with a hacky, sneaky, and half-baked solution.
I doubt this guy was a major in computer science. This is a low tech solution where you just plug and play. I've been in this situation and my solution is to just block internet on the device itself after a certain time. This isn't hard to do. Password lock the phone after a certain time. The easiest solution was to block the devices when they're using wifi because nobody is going to turn off wifi and even if they do they don't have unlimited data. There are so many lazy solutions that don't require any money or jamming signals. Of course he could just go around and grab the devices but I can see how annoying this gets after a few days of doing this. Especially since your family will just attack you the moment you even suggest it.
I am also curious where these are openly sold o_O I've heard about them being used in heists here in the US very occasionally, but this is the first time I've heard of some random-ass person just ending up with one and breaking the town by trying to use it for Normie Stuff.
This is my concern because this device sounds stupid easy and doesn't require any expertise to use it. It also seems to be super effective. Imagine if this effects wireless mice and keyboards? A number of home security devices are also wireless.
 
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