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Law Enforcement Wants Right to Use Cell-Jamming Tech

Article Comments  15  

Feb 3, 2009, 9:19 AM   by Eric M. Zeman   @phonescooper

Local law enforcement agencies have indicated that they want the ability to jam cell phone signals. Right now, only the federal government is permitted to jam cell phone signals and it is against the law for anyone else - including state and local police organizations - to jam any commercial radio signal. The federal government does not share many details about its use of cell-jamming technology, but uses it overseas during military actions to interrupt communications before raids and attacks. The Secret Service used cell-jamming technology at the recent inauguration of President Obama. Police organizations say the technology can be used to foil terrorist attacks, prevent suspects from destroying or removing evidence from a phone, and prevent incarcerated criminals from using cell phones at all, which are considered contraband. The CTIA contends that cell jamming is a "blunt instrument" and it is easy for normal citizens to be adversely affected if signals were to be jammed, including the inability to reach 911 during an emergency. Despite the risks, local law enforcement agencies are taking their case to Washington, where the idea is beginning to gain support. To-date, however, no change in the law has taken place.

more info at Washington Post »

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Comments

This forum is closed.

This forum is closed.

craigsw

Feb 6, 2009, 5:00 AM

Jamming May Not Even Work Well

Wideband RF jamming of cell phone bands can be quickly overcome by criminals and terrorists.

The hypothetical "remote lookout" can simply use other means, such as Family Radio Service radios, hand-signals to somebody watching who can call on another land line or use an Internet connection (possibly with Tor!) to send a warning message, and so forth.

Cell phone jamming is a bad idea as it takes out the unprepared citizen's ability to report important information and/or to request help during an emergency.

There are other alternatives such as lawful intercept, collection of E911 positions on phone in a target area, and spoofing of calls and/or test messages to target cell phones to confuse the users and gain an advantage for law enfor...
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matellinc

Feb 3, 2009, 10:45 AM

Issues with this idea

We lose the ability to call 911 when the local government have the ability control what we can do with the cell phone.
It's not like this system is being handed over to a little kid that doesn't know what he/she is doing. It is a complex system that requires training, like everything else, and I feel it will be used for the good. I'm tired of our laws protecting cri...
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I do volunteer work in prisons. Any cell phone is considered contraband, even if I bring my own in and don't give it to an inmate. So if I'm following the rules, I wouldn't be able to dial 911 from the prison because I would have left my phone in my ...
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I agree with everyone who thinks we shouldn't hand this technology over to Barney Fife.

There have been to many instances of shoot first ask questions later, just look what happened when cops were given tasers. Confused
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Never ever should this be allowed. It's tyranny and oppression. After the Bush years and the erosion of our constitutional freedoms how can anyone be so naive as to believe such power would not be abused? This power is not needed to protect us from te...
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Azeron

Feb 3, 2009, 3:05 PM

Freedom

“They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” - Benjamin Franklin

Thomas Jefferson said it even more directly: “Those who trade freedom for security will find themselves with neither.”

Bottom line is this: The freedom which one willing surrenders is not so easily reclaimed. There is no benevolent government in this world. The U.S. government is made up of indivduals all of whom are flawed. Are they all evil? No. But some most assuredly are. They are certainly made up of more than a few hypocrites. Those who campaign against prostitution, but solicit prostitutes. Those who are against gay lifestyle but place their gay lovers on the sta...
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Azeron said:
“They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” - Benjamin Franklin

Thomas Jefferson said it even more directly: “Those who trade
...
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