Ever since the FCC explicitly banned cell phone jammers back in 2005, a company called Cellantenna has been working its little heart out to get Section 333 of the Communications Act declared unconstitutional or otherwise get the FCC to legalize cell phone jammers. (Not surprisingly, CellAntenna hopes to sell cell phone jammers, among other equipment.)
CellAntenna’s latest scheme is to focus on the issue of unauthorized cell phone use by prisoners. I’ll confess, I think the bigger problem is stopping the smuggling in the first place or keeping prisoners under observation so they cannot use cell phones. Or — if I wanted to be real daring — set up detectors and tap into cell phone calls made from prison cells (guards should so not be using their cell phones on duty, so they don’t worry me — set up secure areas where prisoners are not permitted if there is a real issue).
But even assuming a real problem, I don’t see that this gets CellAntenna where it wants to go. If state and federal penitentiaries want to petition the FCC for special permission for a waiver of Section 333, that should not be too difficult. But that’s a rather small market in the grand scheme of things.
Folks hoping for legal cell phone jammers anytime soon should not hold their breath.
Stay tuned . . . .