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Senate Greenlights Jamming Cell Signals Near Prisons

Article Comments  79  

Aug 6, 2009, 12:02 PM   by Eric M. Zeman   @phonescooper

A U.S. Senate committee has taken the first step toward approving new legislation that would allow states to ask the federal government for permission to jam cellular signals at and near prisons. The issue was brought before the senate by corrections directors from some 26 states. The Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee approved the initial bill, which now goes to the entire Senate for consideration. If passed, the bill would require the FCC to to set up rules and regulations governing how and where signals can be blocked, to conduct tests to determine the minimum strength necessary to block signals, and to approve all systems before giving states permission to block signals. Only correctional facilities would be allowed to block signals, and all parties involved would have to ensure that the areas surrounding the prisons experience minimal disruption of services.

more info at Wireless Week »



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This forum is closed.


Aug 6, 2009, 2:32 PM

Its not going to happen.

Someone with some brains is going to throw this out the window where it belongs. Its too many flaws in this approach, and its not really going to change anything. Prison inmates will still communicate via landlines with paid/affiliated guards. How do you think the cell phones were getting in there? the same way the prisoners are going to be able to use landlines. Its money and politics. The only way to control prisoners from communicating with others and setting up stuff on the outside or inside is by hiring more intelligent guards and enforce stronger penalties to violators.
so true.
First of all as a rule, Officers are not allowed to have or use cell phones while on duty !!!
Second fact yes their can be a bad apple. But most officers are not. and do their jobs well.
The third fact. Inmates do not need paid/affiliated officers t...
I don't understand why anyone cares, let them try and block the signals and see what happens, do you personally live near a prison or visit one daily? No, then sit down and shut up.

Aug 7, 2009, 10:05 AM

Missing the real reason

I think most people are missing the real reason the prisons, both private and government owned, are wanting to block cellphone signals. Revenue. The use of a cellphone in prison circumvents the prison's own very profitable telephone system. Inmates and their families are charged exorbant rates to talk to each other. It's not that officials are angry about dirty deeds being discussed over the cellphone, it's that they can't charge for it when they are.
Conspiracy theorist much?? Actually calls from prison/jail phones are collect calls anyway, so the person being called pays.
That is not the real reason and you are absolutely ignorant to believe so.

We aren't talking about a holding cell here.
Chunky Sirlion

Aug 6, 2009, 12:55 PM

What if...

But what if you live NEAR the prison, or if you break down on the road in front of it, your cell will be blocked Eh?
This is similar to running WiFi 2.4GHz and a Bluetooth side by side. It is localized. I'd actually expect it to be limited to 'indoors'.
You live near a prison?
Chunky Sirlion said:
But what if you live NEAR the prison, or if you break down on the road in front of it, your cell will be blocked Eh?

Believe it or not, there was a time when not everbody had a cell phone and no...
Correct me if I'm wrong, but don't they zone the area around a prison for a certain number of feet or miles. If that's case how would anybody's home be affected anyway. Seems like a non-issue to me. I'd rather have Joe Gang Leader in jail not be able ...

Aug 6, 2009, 12:19 PM


If we allow jamming for prisons we start down a very slippery slope. I don't want the government to be telling me where I can and can't use my cell phone.
I guess i understand where they are coming from. It's just a security issue for them, being a prison and all.

But at the same time i don't want them controlling where i can use my cellphone, cause they could get out of hand with this idea.

Then don't find yourself in prison.
This argument is like saying you don't want restrictions on what types of guns you can purchase. Why do you care if a prision can't use cell service plan on serving time?
Technically the goverment is tell us when we can and cant. Starting to. With the new no texting or calling with driving their pushing. Which i dont really care, im in the military i cant even walk around with a bluetooth on, or walk and talk on a cell...
acdc1a said:
If we allow jamming for prisons we start down a very slippery slope. I don't want the government to be telling me where I can and can't use my cell phone.

Well...thank goodness they aren't telling YOU ...

Aug 10, 2009, 9:14 AM

Humans are resourceful.

Humans are a very resourceful, adaptive species. Being a prisoner brings out that resourcefulness even more.

Unfortunately, if there is a way (and there is ALWAYS a way)to defeat a system, prisoners will find it. I'm not saying that it is not a good idea. Making it harder for the criminal element is good but be warned that it will not be 100% effective.

Aug 6, 2009, 10:24 PM

Senate MORONS need an EE to talk to...

Why jam all the cell transmissions when a simple GPS solution will do?

Set aside funds to allow carriers to install hardware on all cell sites servicing prisons that will pull e911 GPS info for all calls process on those sites- not just 911 calls.

If the GPS delivered is not CLEARLY outside the facility, deny the call on the network end!

A solution like this would allow for a white listing cell phones belonging to government agents or the Warden of the facility so that authorized personnel could still place calls, too.

e911 location information is already used in every digital handset out there, why not put it to use in this scenario?

I'm gonna go write my Senator a letter, now.
Text do not have a location. lol just learned that with the other IOWA article. Very Happy
Writting letters, thats...ummm effective.
Last thing I want, is more government involvement in the private sector. They've requested what is within the law, and within the rights of the rest of us.

It's a near perfect example of innovation at the local level. Only concern that I would vo...
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