CellAntenna and SC Department of Corrections to Hold “Cell Phone” Jamming Demonstration
“I want to thank the South Carolina Department of Corrections for allowing us to make this demonstration and applaud them for their recognition of this growing threat to our safety,” said Howard Melamed, President and CEO of CellAntenna. “Cell phones are now considered to be the ‘New Cash’ for inmates. Prison authorities are helpless in defending themselves and the public against the threat as the 1934 Communications Act prohibits anyone but the Federal Government from jamming communication.
“The FCC and the CTIA (the organization representing the cellular providers) have said that jamming of cell phones should not be allowed in prisons since there is no way of containing the jamming within the prison walls," continued Melamed, “In this demonstration, using CellAntenna Corporation’s technology, we will prove that jamming can be contained and refutes the FCC and CTIA claims.”
The Communications Act of 1934 allows federal agencies to use jamming devices but prohibits local and state law enforcement from using such equipment. Originally, this prohibition was based on interference with “outside” communications by jamming equipment. With technological advances this is merely a pretext: cell phone jamming can now be directed and controlled, as this demonstration will show.
For inmates, the “New Cash” cell phones are easy to smuggle into prisons since they are easy to conceal. Once inside the prison, inmates use obtainable prepaid calling cards to continue their criminal activities. In some cases they have even used cell phones to coordinate smuggling activities between prisons as well as harass witnesses for pending trials. The problem is especially evident in the United States as the law is outdated compared to other countries who have tackled this problem head on.
The South Carolina Department of Corrections and CellAntenna Corporation are inviting United States Senators, Congressman, Presidential candidates, John McCain and Barack Obama, South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford, members of the South Carolina legislature, Correctional and Law Enforcement personnel, and representatives from the Federal Communication Commission (FCC). The FCC is the regulating agency that would need to amend current restrictions against cell phone jamming to grant correctional agencies nationwide the authority to block and jam illegal cell signals permanently.
In 2005, CellAntenna Corporation mounted a judicial challenge to the constitutionality of the FCC restrictions, seeking to permit the use of cellular jamming devices by state and local governments and first responders. After the United States District Court Southern District of Florida in Miami ruled that it lacked jurisdiction, CellAntenna filed a Petition for Rulemaking before the FCC to allow state and local governments to use jamming equipment. The CTIA, of which every cellular service provider is a member, opposes CellAntenna’s position.
About CellAntenna Corporation
Headquartered in Coral Springs, Florida, and offices in England and Poland, CellAntenna Corporation provides packaged, custom, and even rapid deployment cellular repeater systems for residential, commercial and government use. The company’s new products provide communication during disasters and where signal enhancement is required for saving lives. CellAntenna is involved in the limiting of cellular communication in prisons and in areas of high security. In addition, CellAntenna works on new and innovative applications for its systems and develops new, cutting-edge technologies. For more information, please visit: www.cellantenna.com.
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