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CellAntenna to Hold “Cell Phone” Jamming Demonstration at Travis State Jail on December 18th

12-10-2008 02:34 PM CET | Politics, Law & Society

Press release from: Strategic Vision, LLC

/ PR Agency: Strategic Vision
Coral Springs, FL/December 9, 2008 – CellAntenna Corporation announces that it has been invited by the Texas State Representative Jerry Madden (R-Plano) to hold a presentation of its “cell-jamming” device that could be used to jam illegal cell phone use by inmates at the Travis State Jail in Austin, Texas on Thursday, December 18, 2008 at 10 AM CST. This demonstration follows CellAntenna’s successful demonstration of its “cell-jamming” device for the South Carolina Department of Corrections in November. The Texas Department of Criminal Justice and correction’s facilities nationally are confronted with a growing threat to the safety and security of the public and corrections’ staff – unauthorized use of cell phones in prisons. The illegal use of cell phones in prisons allows prisoners to coordinate and conduct criminal activity from behind bars. Indeed, in October, Texas State Senator John Whitmire (D-Houston) received death threats by an inmate on death row with an illegal cell phone that had been smuggled into prison. In the demonstration, CellAntenna will show that using jamming devices in prisons will not affect prison security radios or any cell phone equipment outside of Travis State Jail as opponents of jamming in prisons have alleged.

Currently the 1934 Communications Act prohibits local and state law enforcement from using jamming devices. CellAntenna has been leading a national legal challenge to give local and state law enforcement the power to jam such illegal activity. Texas Governor Rick Perry has recently joined a growing chorus of officials urging a change in the 1934 Communications Act to allow state law enforcement, particularly correctional officers, the right to use “cell-jamming” devices. Governor Perry has urged members of Congress to take up the issue.

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, (the organization representing the cellular providers) opposes CellAntenna’s position. In CellAntenna’s South Carolina demonstration, CITA President Steve Largent called Governor Mark Sanford in attempt to stop the “cell-jamming” demonstration. The Governor refused the request.

“I want to thank Representative Madden for taking the leadership position he did in inviting us and working with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice in organizing the logistics of the event,” said Howard Melamed, President and CEO of CellAntenna. “I also want to thank the Texas Department of Criminal Justice for allowing us to make this demonstration and applaud them and Governor Perry for their recognition of this growing threat to the safety of the general public by the growing use of illegal cell phones in our prisons. 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 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. Indeed I would welcome members of CITA and the FCC to attend to see how ‘cell-jamming’ really works.”

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.
Representative Madden and CellAntenna Corporation are inviting United States Senators, Congressman, Texas Governor Rick Perry, members of the Texas legislature, Correctional and Law Enforcement personnel across the nation, 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.

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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