Commentary: Jamming cell phones in prison

This editorial appeared in The Rock Hill Herald.

The illegal use of wireless phones by state prison inmates might lend a new meaning to the phrase "cell phone."

States ought to have the authority to jam contraband cell phones used by inmates inside prisons. But current federal law prevents states from doing so.

S.C. prison chief Jon Ozmint has lined up a company he says is capable of jamming cell phones in prisons without affecting phone users outside the prison. He would like to demonstrate the technology for federal officials, but representatives of the wireless industry have urged the Federal Communications Commission to stand fast and not allow the demonstration.

We can understand why wireless phone companies would want to severely limit the use of jamming technology. In the wrong hands, jamming equipment could render cell phones useless within a large service area with potentially dire consequences.

To read the complete editorial, visit The Rock Hill Herald.