On Sun, 26 Jun 2005 01:35:21 GMT, Fred Atkinson
> On Sat, 25 Jun 2005 21:05:50 GMT, Bruce L. Bergman
> <blbergman@withheld_on_request> wrote:
>>> The operation of transmitters designed to jam or block wireless
>>> communications is a violation of the Communications Act of 1934,
>>> as amended ("Act"). See 47 U.S.C. Sections 301, 302a, 333. The Act
>>> prohibits any person from willfully or maliciously interfering with
>>> the radio communications of any station licensed or authorized under
>>> the Act or operated by the U.S. government. 47 U.S.C. Section 333.
>>> The manufacture, importation, sale or offer for sale, including
>>> advertising, of devices designed to block or jam wireless
>>> transmissions is prohibited. 47 U.S.C. Section 302a(b). Parties in
>>> violation of these provisions may be subject to the penalties set
>>> out in 47 U.S.C. Sections 501-510. Fines for a first offense can
>>> range as high as $11,000 for each violation or imprisonment for up
>>> to one year, and the device used may also be seized and forfeited
>>> to the U.S. government.
> Don't miunderstand me here. I basically agree with your position.
> But didn't the more recent communications act render the
> Communications Act of 1934 obsolete? I don't think that cell phone
> technology was considered when it was written, either.
Note that IANA Communications Lawyer. There are probably more recent
laws and more relevant rulings, I just did a search at the FCC Website
and that was the first cite that popped up. Since they still list it,
I'm willing to bet it's more or less still relevant.
> I do think that perhaps use of such jamming devices (if properly
> designed) might be useful in prisons where there is a problem with
> contraband cell phones running being used for drug deals and other
> problematic things. Of course, we'd have to address the issues and
> how to correctly make it legal for use (so that situations like you've
> described can be avoided).
Jamming wouldn't be very effective. They would have to block the
entire 800, 900, 1800 and 1900 MHz bands to get all cellulars, with
enough power that they would splatter them within at least 1/2 mile
around the facility (if not more) - and that would miss things like
Nextel iDEN service, commercial radio, amateur radio, and other
services. And if they have the capability to do spread spectrum that
would make it even harder to stop.
If the prisoners are making illegal communications from a contraband
phone or other device inside a prison, they probably don't care that
they are not operating in the proper band on an assigned channel,
they'll use whatever they can make work. Aircraft, marine, military,
CB, FRS or GMRS, an unused broadcast TV channel ...
Heck, avoid radio -- use a modulated IR laser beam aimed out a window
to a transceiver secreted on a nearby hilltop. (Or rooftop in an
If they want to stop those communications, they need to attack them
at the source: regularly lock the cellblocks down and do top to bottom
strip searches of prisoners and the cells & common areas, severely
restrict the types and amounts of prisoner personal property allowed
in the cells to approved items only -- like special TV and Radio sets
with clear cases sold in the canteen. Trashing any even slightly
questionable items. And let the ACLU lawsuits commence ...
--<< Bruce >>--