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Mobile phone blocking allowed in some circumstances

Comment 22nd July 2010

Revise or repeal Sections 1 and 13 of the 1949 Telegraphy Act to allow the blocking of mobile phone signals under certain circumstances, such as prisons, schools and colleges.Mobile phone signal blocking is available technology, and would be useful in a variety of settings. Applications for use of such technology could be submitted, with reasons for which it is justified, and chance for any reasonable objections to be made before the application is accepted. Signage could be displayed  to inform visitors/inmates/etc that they are in an area where mobile phones are banned and/or will not work.

Why does this matter?

The 1949 Telegraphy Act was devised before mobile phones were invented. Because of Sections 1 and 13 of the Act, it is illegal to block mobile phone signals.Mobile phone blocking is possible, and indeed it is possible to buy personal mobile phone blockers in the USA, although this is not what I am advicating.To allow blocking of mobile phones (in certain, specific circumstances), would stop the illegal use of mobile phones by criminals in prison, some of who are able to control illegal activity on the outside by phones smuggled in. Mobile phones are banned in prisons, so their can be no objection that this is an infringement of rights.As well as this particular example, schools and colleges should be allowed to have moble phone blockers in lessons, lectures, and in particular exam settings.

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