To Jam or Not To Jam

Today I commented on TechDirt’s article by Carlo Longino on cellphone jamming and how “no one should profit from criminals”, namely the carriers. There are not too many ways that the carriers would be able to discriminate from all the calls coming from within a correctional institution which ones are known legitimate and which ones are known or suspected illegitimate. The problem is contraband cellphones is an incredibly hard problem to solve throughout the entire world! My own company, AirPatrol Corp, is involved with channel partners in the US, Canada, South America, Western Europe, and part of AsiaPac on sales opportunities to correctional institutions for a geo-fencing system to detect and locate cellphones throughout a prison with the intention of then dispatching correctional officers to the specific locations where violations are occurring.

My specific comment on TechDirt involved an ideal solution of detect, locate, then intelligently jamming (if it’s possible) the violating cellular devices. Indiscriminate jamming won’t solve anything as it’s reactive, short term, and harmful to a huge array of authorized cellphone users both within the prison facility and possibly outside. It’s no wonder the FCC has not come up with a response to the varying pleas from correctional institutions to legalize it, or at least provide a process by which they can apply jamming on a needed basis. BTW, if a process is required to get permission to apply jamming for each occurrence determined to be warranted, then it’s already too late!

This is certainly not an easy problem to solve, but I strongly believe that a proactive sensing, location, and focused cell signal “quieting” system which can also record forensic information for prosecutorial purposes would be preferred over nondiscriminate jamming.

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