The use of jammers violates the law?

One of the first pieces of legislation presented at the 111th Congress was the Safe Prisons Communications Act of 2009. Legislation allowed prisons to allow the installation of noise in a prison to prevent inmates from using smuggled cell phones ,

“This legislation will put criminal companies behind bars and protect innocent victims and officials from criminal harassment and threats,” said Bill Sponsor Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas, when the legislation was introduced. “The recent cases of prisoners smuggling cell phones behind bars illustrate the need to use the latest technology to prevent this ability.”

But since the Senate Commerce Committee, on which Hutchison is the ranking member, prepared for the July 15 bill, a number of public interest groups and consumer organizations claim Hutchison’s legislation is wrong on technology, wrong on the law, and will open the door open to commercial cell phone jammer that are currently illegal.

“The proposal to end the more than 75-year ban on deliberate interference in authorized radio communications in the United States would pose unnecessary risks to commercial and public security in that country,” wrote nine public interest groups and consumer organizations to the Commerce Committee July 14 , “Not only are there alternative means to address the problem of cell phone smuggling in prison, but the proposal to jamming cell phone use in prison will not achieve its goal of eliminating contraband.”

Harold Feld, director of justice for public knowledge, who led the opposition to Hutchison’s law, said: “Jamming prison cell phones would jeopardize public security because there is no way to block prisoners’ phones only. All wireless communications could be locked inside Prison. Jamming doesn’t work. You can defeat Jammer with a few pieces of aluminum foil. ”

Current law prevents wireless interference, protects the reliability of 911 calls, and protects the rights of legitimate users of wireless services. Hutchison’s bill will allow the director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons or a governor to petition the Federal Communications Commission asking to operate a wireless jamming device in a particular prison.

According to the accounting language, the FCC must consider, among other things, whether the jammer would interfere with emergency or public security communications outside the prison walls when deciding whether to accept the petition. The FCC would review and approve prisons for use by prisons.

“History has shown that the legal manufacture and sale of equipment – even for limited purposes – will inevitably lead to it becoming available on a mass consumer basis,” the letter said. “Despite the availability in other countries, the use of cellphone jammers in this country is forced underground and hardly affects the wireless use of commercial or public security.”

Howard Melamed, CEO of CellAntenna, claims that mobile operators are able to reduce signal levels in prison or increase the security of prepaid cards and cell phones to prevent illegal use of cell phones in prisons. In 2005, CellAntenna of Coral Springs, Fla., Filed a legal challenge to the constitutionality of the FCC restrictions to allow government and local authorities and first responders to use cell phone jamming equipment.

After the U.S. When Florida’s Southern District Court in Miami ruled that it was not competent, CellAntenna filed a petition with the FCC for regulations that would allow state and local governments to use congestion systems.

“If the carrier has the ability to prevent the illegal use of mobile phones in his system and refuses to do so, is his inaction not helping criminal activity?” Melamed said last year. “The FCC must intervene and really act in the best interest of the public, as its mandate from the Congress makes clear.”