Storing Your Banned Phone May Cost You

from the just-hide-it-in-the-bushes dept

With the backlash against cameraphones growing rapidly, many different places have banned mobile phones — including some courthouses. No, we don’t know what it is with courthouses and wireless technologies today, but they’re getting a lot of attention. Textually is pointing out that a new industry of sorts has been built up outside of buildings that ban cameraphones. For $10, a hot dog vendor outside a federal courthouse in Miami will store your contraband cameraphone behind the hot dog buns in his cart. Down the street, a shopowner charges $2, but gets annoyed that they keep ringing. Many who show up at the court without realizing the ban was in place, and who don’t know about the local merchants’ “side business,” simply end up burying them in the dirt or hiding them under garbage cans. If you’re looking to pick up some free mobile phones, apparently digging around outside of federal courthouses may be the way to go.

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “Storing Your Banned Phone May Cost You”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
1 Comment
Steve Mueller (user link) says:

Cell Phones & Pocket Knives

Three thoughts.

First, I’ve run into a similar problem, but with Swiss Army knives. I always carry one because it’s useful, but have had problems with it on several occasions in court.

One time, when I had a traffic case, I was told I couldn’t bring it in, so I ended up putting it in bushes outside the court. Fortunately, I did remember to check for it when I left and it was still there.

Another time, when I was getting my marriage license, they wouldn’t let me bring my knife in. I asked if they had a lot of disgruntled people stabbing the license clerk for allowing them to get married. As it was raining, I had to go back outside and put the knife in my car. When I returned, I thoughtfully pointed out to the security guard that I could stab somebody with my ballpoint pen and it would be faster than having to open my old, sticky pocket knife. Somehow I doubt he was amused….]

I can certainly understand the ban in courtrooms (although the San Benito County court, where I had jury duty once, doesn’t prohibit them), but the marriage license incident really bothered me. Maybe they should have separate areas for paperwork and trials with different levels of security. The court in San Martin searches you, but allows you to put disallowed items in a bin and pick them up later, which I think is a reasonable compromise.

Second, with the ridiculous bans at airports (nail clippers!), you’d think some enterprising merchant would set up lockers there where people could place things they forgot to remove before getting to the security checkpoint. Unless the TSA is forced to confiscate them, the person could get out of line, drop their things off and pick them up when they got back.

In fact, maybe the TSA could run such lockers themselves, offering the passenger the alternative of locking the proscribed item up (and paying a storage fee to the government) or having it confiscated. The government could actually make some money!

Finally, I have a plan that would allow cameraphones (and other devices with cameras or other recording devices) to be taken into buildings that currently prohibit them. If there are any patent attorneys interested in discussing this with me, visit my site and send me an E-mail.

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...