Griffin's Tech Blog
Peter Griffin on the tech universe

Cell blocks hang up on prisoners

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We've all read the reports about prisoners being able to run their criminal empires from behind bars using mobile phones. Somehow mobiles keep managing to slip through the inspections that are required of prison visitors.
They're hidden in the folds of people's skin, in orifices, children's nappies, even a cooked chicken according to one recent report.
Well, soon it won't matter if prisoners manage to get their hands on the best mobile on the market. It will be blocked from making calls and text messages in prison facilities.
Telecom and Vodafone have been carrying out technical trials with the Department of Corrections that allow for mobiles to be blocked.
I had a look at this sort of technology last year. A local company was trying to introduce it for use in cinemas, schools, places where mobile use may be anti-social or used for devious means - like Googling exam questions.
The company was having trouble getting the technology approved and so far, I haven't come across any mobile phone blocking technology that has had regulatory approval for public release.
According to a press release sent out today, "Vodafone and Telecom also announced that they will jointly propose a new industry Code of Practice, for adoption by future cellphone phone network operators in addressing the challenge of unauthorised cellphone use in prisons.
This proposal would involve consultation with all interested parties via a project proposal to be presented to the Telecommunications Carriers Forum (TCF)."
How effective the technology is, is yet to be seen, but let's hope this developed spells an end for communication from those on the inside.

I still think the technology should be opened up to cinema operators. If I see another person texting a friend in the middle of a theatre, or even worse, answering a call, I won't be responsible for my actions...

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