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What is Acoustic Jamming?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 24 September 2016
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Built at the request of Dag Hammarskjöld, the United Nations Headquarters has a meditation room dedicated to silence.   more...

October 1 ,  1890 :  Yosemite National Park was established.  more...

Acoustic jamming is essentially a tool that is used to send audio signals that can be used to jam listening devices, or render a weapon unable to respond to any type of remote control. Developed primarily as a wartime defensive measure, it is commonly employed today in high security situations. Along with use to provide privacy in business settings, this technology is also employed in several other professions as well.

The basic operation of acoustic jamming devices has to do with creating a deliberate radiation field of electronic or acoustic signals that will block or at least obscure any invasive signals that would allow point to point contact. Essentially, the field would make listening in on a remote conversation impossible, often by creating a wide band of white noise. At the same time, the same principle of acoustic jamming would inhibit the ability to operate electric or mechanical devices remotely, since communication with the device would be impossible.

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During the middle of the 20th century, weapons systems were becoming increasingly sophisticated. One of the innovations was the development of electroacoustical signals that could be used to control missiles remotely. Utilizing specific frequencies, it was possible to control the direction of the missile, as well as use an audio sequence to detonate the device. In order to deal with this type of weaponry, acoustic jamming devices were created. Essentially, the jamming process involved finding just the right frequency to render the missile ineffective, or at least alter the course of the device so that it would detonate in a relatively uninhabited area.

In non-combat applications, many businesses make use of acoustical jamming in order to secure a conference room or enclosed space from the possibility of being monitored by remote listening devices. High-powered acoustic jamming equipment is available today that will provide either coverage to a small area — sometimes referred to as spot jamming — as well as a wider area. Residential consumers can also purchase acoustic jamming equipment for the home that has a limited range.

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Soulfox
Post 2

@Markerrag -- we're not talking about the same situation here. In the case of your cell phone jammer, that might get you in trouble if you happen to be using it in such a way so as to interfere with a fellow wanting to make a call on his smartphone. The key here is that the device is used in a public place -- if you were to turn it on in your house and it didn't interfere with the activity of people outside of it, then you might not have to worry much about legality. After all, you can generally do what you want on your own property. The problem might arise when you take a jamming devices and turn it on while riding on a crowded bus.

Markerrag
Post 1

What is the legality of owning and using one of those devices? For example, it is possible to buy and use a device that will jam cell phone frequencies, but it is not legal to use one of those in some countries.

Aren't we talking about the same principal here?

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