A South Carolina prison tested ‘micro-jamming’ cellphone signals

The US Federal Bureau of Prisons UU He recently conducted an interference test on smuggled cell phones at a correctional institution in the state of South Carolina. Last year, in a federal prison, "micro-interference" or the interruption of telephone signals in a very precise area was tested in a federal prison. But this test indicated that state prisons, which generally do not have the authority to tamper with telephone signals, could be on the way to using technology.

The test was conducted last week at the Broad River Correctional Institution for maximum security. in columbia, south carolina. According to Associated Press it lasted five days and involved interference signals in a housing unit. The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), which oversaw the test, will analyze the results and publish them in a report.

Correctional officers say smuggling phones are one of the main problems for prisons, citing cases like the shooting of corrections officer Robert Johnson , who almost died after a prisoner ordered an attack on his house using a contraband cell phone. Micro-interference presents a possible solution, but due to FCC regulations, only federal agencies can implement it legally. And federal prisons have only a fraction of the 2.3 million prisoners in the United States, while state prisons have more than half.

However, those rules may be changing. Last month, the Senate and the House of Representatives filed bills that would allow state prisons to clog the signs. (In this case, the director of Corrections of South Carolina, Bryan Stirling, was apparently designated as a US Marshal, giving him federal authority). And the FCC has removed the restrictions on managed access systems: small-scale cellular networks that can prevent devices from making calls or using mobile data, but not totally blocking wireless access.

However, one commissioner expressed concern that prisons could pass the costs of these systems to the families of the inmates. Critics of the traffic jams say that opening the rules could create a "slippery slope" to allow interceptors to proliferate outside prisons, and that the inaccurate traffic jam could block legitimate calls outside prison, although the microswitch promises to make that problem be less likely

The Federal Bureau of Prisons conducted a previous test of micro-interruptions last year in a federal prison in Cumberland, Maryland. The NTIA reported that the interceptors can interrupt the signal inside a prison cell, but maintain access to the network only 20 feet away, a result that the US Department of Justice. UU He called it "promising".

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