No One Should Profit From Criminals (Except Us)

from the subtle dept

The head of a company that makes cell phone jammers says mobile operators should hand over all the revenue they make from prisoners using contraband phones in jail. Apparently there is a "growing epidemic of inmates using cell phones in prisons", and the guy says that the "millions of dollars" in question should be given to jail officials to pay for more guards to search for phones. "Nobody should profit from criminals," he says -- except, of course, his company, which wants jammers to be made legal so it can sell some to prisons to combat this "growing epidemic". This is the same company that argued a few years back that the laws banning jammers are unconstitutional; at that point, it was targeting selling jammers to cops to block the use of phones as remote detonators. Maybe basing your business model on getting federal law changed isn't the wisest idea, eh guys?


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Tgeigs, Apr 6th, 2009 @ 2:09pm

    In related news...

    In Related News...

    1. The head of a group of Texas oil companies recently decried all foreign oil producing nations as, "Darn terrorists. They jist wanna keel you." This apparently also applied to Canada. The Texan went on to describe how his company in fact did NOT want to kill you, they just want to drill off of the continental shelf.

    2. Jesse Jackson came out today and told a congregation that "Whitey wants to keep you down! Black Power!" When someone pointed out to him that the President of the United States, an office Mr. Jackson tried to achieve, was an African American and maybe it was time for him to just go away, he cried out, "Whitey got to you too! Black America needs me!!!"

    More obvious collusion and conflicts of interest to come!!!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    TheStuipdOne, Apr 6th, 2009 @ 2:52pm

    Not the worst thing I've heard

    "Maybe basing your business model on getting federal law changed isn't the wisest idea, eh guys?"

    Actually I think it is a pretty good idea ... so long as the company isn't the only thing you are relying on.

    If I knew how to and could rapidly make jammers. And I could find someone to fund me for a few months or a year then it would make sense to lobby for a law change because then you could immediately step in to fill the demand for this newly legalized gadget ... especially if you decided to make and sell it in some other part of the world.

    However I'd recommend having a fall back career because your odds of success are rather slim

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 6th, 2009 @ 2:59pm

    Re: In related news...

    When I saw Jesse Jackson crying at the inauguration I was pretty sure it was because he saw his career go up in smoke.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Paul Brinker, Apr 6th, 2009 @ 5:03pm

    Cant a jail just kindly request the local cell companys to not take calls from that geo location?

    Fail that, build your jail with passive jamming in mind, im sure there are some cheap paints that could be put on the wall with this in mind.


    Jamming radio signals vs bombs is a vary BAD idea, we learned in the military that IEDs can sometimes be setup to go off when a range of radio frequencys get to close (marine picks up radio, clicks in to report IED, IED goes off), and jamming will put off a huge range of noise (or a lower power, "this frequency is in use" command.)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    Weird Harold, Apr 6th, 2009 @ 5:05pm

    I can't figure out why they aren't more interested in short range trackers and installing a cell with full decoding right next to the jail. That would solve a bunch of issues.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    CleverName, Apr 6th, 2009 @ 6:33pm

    Another money grab

    Why should a cell phone company be held responsible for how the phone is used by whom ?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    Azrael, Apr 7th, 2009 @ 12:52am

    Re: Another money grab

    Finally, somebody who asked the right question.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    telecomesq, Apr 7th, 2009 @ 7:45am

    Re: Another money grab

    Excellent question. Telecom common carriers are not liable for the content of communications transmitted over their facilities. And for good reason: we don't want them regulating that content.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    telecomesq, Apr 7th, 2009 @ 7:50am

    Re:

    Re: not taking calls from that geo location. It would be expensive and perhaps complicated, but certainly technically do-able. However, not completing calls in this manner is probably inconsistent with the carrier's license conditions and possibly would constitute unreasonable discrimination under the Communications Act (NB: this "discrimination" has nothing to do with suspect classifications, e.g., race, etc.).

    Re: passive jamming. This sounds like the way to go. If nothing else, they can surely create some kind of Faraday cage or its equivalent.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    icon
    WarOtter (profile), Apr 7th, 2009 @ 1:24pm

    Out of curiosity...

    I see no reason the jammers shouldn't be made available to law enforcement, or at least corrections (doubtful they would be of much use to cops anyway).

    Theoretically, couldn't you just turn a prison into a giant faraday (sp?) cage? It would take a lot of material, but if the business of cell phone use in prisons is worth millions, then maybe a way to stop it should be worth it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    Dick Dirty, Apr 8th, 2009 @ 1:10pm

    The cell phone are pre-payed

    The minutes are payed for in advance. The cell phones cos can't ask "where do you plan to use the phone" just like someone who sells knives can't ask "where you going to stick this?"

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    Ozzie, Apr 13th, 2009 @ 11:20am

    "Intelligent" Location augmented with jamming

    I'm not opposed to eliminating inmates capability of conducting their business from a safer location than their streets, but I would propose a more holistic solution and potentially more viable from the government's perspective. Let's start with an in-building geolocation system to effectively detect and locate specifically where the phones are being used, then employ some sort of "policy enforcement" mechanism, i.e., guard visiting the offender, focused jamming on THAT specific location, at low power, and only on that channel(s).

    If the system were able to also build up a forensic database, then the information could be used to actually tack on a few more months/years to the inmates sentence, or some other prosecutorial approach.

    I recently pitched this approach to the FCC.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    zabrina, May 8th, 2009 @ 12:53am

    we do need cell phone jammers sometimes

    It has been seven years after the first news was reported about cell phone jammer, now cell phone jammer become common in lots of countries and it is known by more and more persons. you can find this kind of item by just typing cell phone jammer in google, you will find the manufacture just like wirelessphonejammer.com , and the price become lower and lower.
    Though in some countries, the product is illegal, its existence prove it is needed by some persons

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This