American prison set to launch a new technology for jamming phone signals from inmates.
The United States Bureau of Prisons recently tested a piece of equipment designed to jam contraband cellphones in a South Carolina prison. This concept is known as “Micro jamming” or disrupting phone signals within a very precise area. This means only the prisoners who smuggle in smartphones into their cells will get their signals jammed while other prison officials and staff will be free to use their phones.
This test is a major milestone as state prisons in the US don’t have the power to mess with phone signals in their territories. The new technology was tested successfully last week at the maximum security Broad River correctional institution in Columbia, South Carolina. It lasted a total of five days and involved the jamming of signals in a housing unit.
The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) says it will analyze the results and release them in a report.
A new bill will have to be passed to enable state prisons jam phone signals. This is necessary as prisoners are still committing serious crimes using smuggled cellphones to organize their criminal activities outside their prisons.
A recent example is the shooting of a prison official after a prisoner ordered an attack on his home using a smuggled phone. The Micro-Jamming is a solution that will enable state prisons jam signals in a specific area of the prison even without passing a new bill.
FCC’s regulation only allows federal prisons to jam signals but the problem is that state prisons hold more than 50% of inmates across the US. The rules seem to be changing as US Senate and the house of reps introduced bills that will enable state prisons to jam phone signals.
Some people are however expressing concerns that imprecise jamming might also block signals from legitimate calls outside the prison-although micro-jamming seem to make that problem less likely.