Niagara Gazette

Bob Confer

September 9, 2013

CONFER: Legalize cell phone jamming devices

(Continued)

Niagara Gazette — Federal law excludes individuals, private enterprises and local and state governments from the act of interference (no matter how limited), yet permits the federal government to jam specific or many radio signals at will. So, it’s not like it is never or cannot be done; it’s done regularly and for various reasons.

What’s good for the goose should be good for the gander. There is no good reason — especially with the narrow bands within which cell phones operate — that schools, restaurants, and businesses should not be allowed to develop and install band-specific, very-low-power transmitters that would cover only a room or two at a time and prevent cellular signals from coming in or going out. This could be done with an elaborate licensing process that would require reasonable need by the applicant, engineering studies by the equipment provider/installer and review and approval by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). It would be no different than all that is involved with setting up any radio station (broadcast or two-way), except it would be at a much smaller scale.

What a wonderful world it would be if restaurateurs could maintain civility in their dining rooms, teachers could teach attentive students, and workers could commit themselves to the task at hand.

Is this even a possibility? Not right now. FCC documents cite the far-fetched threat that it poses to public safety, specifically the inability of folks to call 911, despite every one of those facilities having landlines and mankind having done pretty well before cell phones became ubiquitous in the past 15 years.

But, this can change. Public policy adjusts itself to the mood of the public. As time goes on, angry teachers, concerned business owners, and properly-behaved citizens could create a big enough stink that they could control the airwaves — and decency — at the micro level.

Gasport resident Bob Confer also writes for the New American magazine at TheNewAmerican.com. Follow him on Twitter @bobconfer

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Bob Confer
  • NIA Confer, Bob mug CONFER: A constitutional convention is not the answer For the past few years it has been popular for folks of the right persuasion (Republicans and neoconservatives) to call for a constitutional convention ("Con-Con") in hopes of passing a balanced budget amendment (BBA.) A lot of people have jumped on that bandwagon; no doubt your email inbox or Facebook news feeds have shown that.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Confer, Bob mug CONFER: Health care vouchers would really help our veterans When sending off our men and women to fight for our defense or interests abroad where they face the barrel of a gun or travel along bomb-strewn roads as a course of their daily duties, it only makes sense that upon their return we give our warriors some sort of reward, since most of them are paid peanuts for the risks they take.

    July 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Confer, Bob mug new CONFER: Looking north to those living the Canadian dream Wikipedia defines the American Dream as "a national ethos of the United States, a set of ideals in which freedom includes the opportunity for prosperity and success, and an upward social mobility achieved through hard work."

    June 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Confer, Bob mug new CONFER: America has a trucking crisis Because a Hollywood star was critically injured in an accident caused by a tractor trailer, the public conversation has turned to road safety and how big trucks fit into that equation. Never mind that beyond Tracy Morgan's high-profile crash there are 500,000 accidents with tractor trailers every year in which an average of 11 people die each day.

    June 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Confer, Bob mug CONFER: Don't expand bear hunting in New York A couple of weeks ago some folks were lucky enough to see a black bear in the town of Pendleton. The news and social media were all abuzz over the sighting, just as they were in the summer of 2009 when a lone black bear stayed in the county for quite some time. Niagara County residents were then, as they are now, hoping to catch a glimpse of an awesome beast that is an infrequent visitor to our region.

    June 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Confer, Bob mug new CONFER: Suffering from constitutional selectivity It's a real treat when our citizens come out in numbers and with passion in the defense of one of our rights, just as they did - and still do - with the NY-SAFE Act.

    May 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Confer, Bob mug new CONFER: Economic cannibalism: developers eat their own It's not often that you'll find me celebrating the loss of an economic development project that would have created 200 jobs in Western New York. But, I did just that a few weeks ago when a deal to bring a Toronto-based plastics manufacturer to the Buffalo waterfront fell through at the eleventh hour.

    May 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Confer mug 051214 CONFER: All of Niagara County should say 'no' to CWM expansion CWM Chemical Services maintains a 710-acre facility in the towns of Lewiston and Porter for the treatment, storage and disposal of hazardous and industrial non-hazardous wastes. Wastes accepted at this facility are disposed of in an on-site landfill (known as RMU-1) or shipped to another facility for further processing and disposal.

    May 13, 2014 2 Photos

  • NIA Confer, Bob Mug 050714 CONFER: Microbeads: An invisible danger to the environment Most people would think that because my livelihood is based in plastics I'd toe the industry line and wax poetic on the economic and social virtues of plastics of all sorts. This is not always the case.

    May 6, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Confer, Bob Mug CONFER: Where are the volunteers? Have you ever wondered why it seems like you see the same people engaged in the efforts of numerous non-profits, churches, fire companies and youth organizations within your community? It's not an illusion. Those tireless souls really are involved in everything. They not only want to be, they have to be -- because no almost one else is giving up their time.

    April 29, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads
House Ads
AP Video
Raw: Families Travel to Taiwan Plane Crash Site Arizona Execution Takes Almost Two Hours Gen. Odierno Discusses Ukraine, NATO at Forum Gaza Fighting Rages Amid Cease-Fire Efforts Mint Gives JFK Coin a Face-lift Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers Ariz. Inmate Dies 2 Hours After Execution Began Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record LeBron James Sends Apology Treat to Neighbors Raw: Funeral for Man Who Died in NYPD Custody Migrants Back in Honduras After US Deports Israeli American Reservist Torn Over Return Raw: ISS Cargo Ship Launches in Kazakhstan Six Indicted in StubHub Hacking Scheme Former NTSB Official: FAA Ban 'prudent' EPA Gets Hip With Kardashian Tweet Bodies of MH17 Victims Arrive in the Netherlands Biden Decries Voting Restrictions in NAACP Talk Broncos Owner Steps Down Due to Alzheimer's US, UN Push Shuttle Diplomacy in Mideast
Opinion
House Ads
Night & Day
Twitter News
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page