About interference devices

I recently saw this intriguing news: a man who said he bought a device that allowed him to change stop lights from red to green received a $50 ticket for suspicion of interfering with a traffic signal.:

Niccum was issued a citation March 29 after police said they found him using a strobe-like device to change traffic signals. Police confiscated the device.

"I'm always running late," police quoted Niccum as saying in an incident report.

The device, called an Opticon, is similar to what firefighters use to change lights when they respond to emergencies. It emits an infrared pulse that receivers on the traffic lights pick up. Niccum was cited after city traffic engineers who noticed repeated traffic light disruptions at certain intersections spotted a white Ford pickup passing by whenever the patterns were disrupted.

Why do I blog this? I find this interfering devices curious. Of course, it reminds me the tv b gone that I bought and that I don't really use. What is funny is how it's marketed:

Your TV-B-Gone® universal remote control resembles other TV remote controls, but is different in two important ways. First, it only has a power button that allows you to switch a TV on or off.

You control when you see, rather than what you see. Second, the device is so small that it easily fits in your pocket, so that you have it handy whenever you need it wherever you go: airports, bars, restaurants, laundromats, etc.

It's just for television but it's already something because you can control PUBLIC tv's our tv's in public places. Things go event further with the device that change traffic lights because it clearly disrupts the public life (or at least the conventions the public life is set). Is this a new trend? Having private devices to modify event for private interests.

This also reminds me the RFID washer:

it finds RFID tags and “electronically washes” it, thus protecting your privacy. (…) It disables the tag using patented prioprietary technology (…) it is designed to destroy all tags that you will find on everyday objects – these are known as passive tags. It is not designed to destroy active tags which are used in industrial applicatio“

In this case, there is another "value" assigned to the device: protecting one's privacy.