Senate Approves Jamming Cell Phones In Prisons
The U.S. Senate recently approved of the Safe Prisons Communications Act of 2009, which will allow prisons to jam or block cellular signals to prevent inmates from accessing cellular services. The act grants the FBI and/or state governors the power to request that areas inside prisons be jammed. The act requires the FCC to govern 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. The act still needs to be approved by the U.S. House of Representatives.
Patriot Act Expires, NSA Phone Data Collection Ends
The Patriot Act expired today and with it the NSA's authority to collect Americans' phone records in bulk. Members of the Senate deliberated over the Act furiously on Sunday as some wanted to extend its powers and others wanted to kill it altogether.
Senate Passes USA Freedom Act
The Senate today passed the USA Freedom Act, which moves to curtail how the NSA collects and stores American call records. The Patriot Act expired on Sunday and with it the NSA's authority to collect call records en masse.
House Passes Bill to Limit NSA Phone Data Collection
The House of Representatives today passed the USA Freedom Act, meant to prevent the NSA from collecting Americans' phone records, with a vote of 338 to 88. The NSA has been collecting Americans' phone records in bulk since late 2001 under the auspices of Section 215 of the Patriot Act.
E-Label Act Passage Means Fewer Stickers on Phones
President Obama signed the E-Label Act into law on Wednesday, which will give phone and other device makers the ability to label their hardware electronically rather than with stickers or graphics. By law, devices such as phones require labels from the FCC and other organizations proving the can be sold in the U.S.
As long as the jamming is limited to within the jail house I'm ok with it.