Father faces jail for blocking his children’s internet access in France

A man in south-west France who accidentally blocked phone signal and internet connection in two towns in a bid to prevent his children from going online now faces six months in jail and a €30,000 fine.

The man, who lives in Messanges (Landes, New Aquitaine), is accused of having blocked internet access and the mobile phone signal of his entire neighborhood for several nights, after installing a “band wave jammer” – a device that blocks mobile phone calls. and internet communication.

He had only intended to prevent his own children from going online at night and apparently would not have realized that the device would work in such a wide radius.

The source of the problem was identified after an engineer from the National Frequency Agency (ANFR) was called to Messanges between midnight and 03:00 one evening, because one of the mobile phone antennas had stopped working.

The engineer traveled in a vehicle designed to identify such problems; there was a portable receiver on the roof which detects hostile waves. He also walked around using a similar device and managed to identify a property that appeared to be the source of the problem.

When questioned, the owner immediately admitted to using a jammer and said he bought the device to prevent his children from using social media or the internet at night, claiming they were addicted.

Every night, he turned on the jammer, intending to block communications to his home only. However, as the ANFR explains on its website, these devices can have “a much wider radius than we think, or that sellers often suggest”.

The use of these devices is strictly illegal in France and is punishable by six months in prison and a fine of €30,000.

The man in question now faces the said penalties, after the public prosecutor of Dax opened an investigation and asked gendarmerie the help of the Landes.

The father also had to pay compensation of €450 to cover the ANFR investigation.

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