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PRESS RELEASES ARCHIVES - 2009


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Cell phones and public transportation - a deadly combination

Press Release

Jun 29, 2010 5:31 PM, By Howard Melamed

Within the past three years, dozens of deaths have been attributed to operators of mass transit vehicles being distracted by cell phone calls and text messages. In the Chatsworth district of Los Angeles in 2008, 25 people lost their lives when a Metrolink train collided with a freight train. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) found that the Metrolink train ran through a red signal because the train's engineer was distracted by text messages he was sending from his cell phone while on duty, including the final text at 22 seconds before the head-on collision.

Each day that goes by in which transit drivers use personal cell phones while on duty adds more risk that local governments could be held liable if a driver causes an accident that kills or injures people and destroys property. Even if rules prohibit public transportation drivers from using cell phones, the rules often are not followed because drivers are almost always without supervision and on the honor system. Left with the boredom of the job, the cell phone proves to be the candy that cannot be resisted.

The NTSB has placed cell phone use by operators of moving vehicles on its "Most Wanted List of Transportation Safety Improvements" in 2010 and has proposed to install video cameras in public transportation vehicles to monitor operators. Unfortunately, video cameras usually only serve to help report on the cause of an accident after it occurs. As incidents have shown in Los Angeles and San Antonio — where a texting bus driver caused a pileup on the freeway — cameras provide shocking footage but do nothing to protect lives. No camera has ever prevented an accident, and no text message is worth the injury or death of innocent passengers.

The technology is available to detect and alert train and bus dispatchers to the use of an unauthorized cellular device in a prohibited area. The train engineer then can be contacted and instructed to turn the cell phone off. The operator has a chance of correcting his or her action, and the authorities have a way of making sure it takes place.

At the same time, cell phone service providers can curtail the situation, and they are not being held accountable for their inaction in protecting lives. That should change immediately. The cell phone industry needs to step up and accept some responsibility for the misuse of cell phones that lead to deaths. They should conduct a public awareness campaign; monitor cell phone use by train engineers, bus drivers and the like; and report on any activity that happens on a moving vehicle.

It would be easy to argue that if we are going to monitor cell phone use by drivers of mass transit vehicles, why not extend the monitoring to all city and county vehicle operation? However, in our race to protect lives, there is a limit to what we can and should do to restrict cell phone use. It is imperative that we do not go so far as to try to control every city and county employee's cell phone conversation in a vehicle.

The practicality of it is impossible, and the enforcement is a waste of time. However, every effort should be made to safeguard the lives of public transportation riders and innocent bystanders. We have an opportunity — and an obligation — to provide better safeguards on vehicles used to transport our community members every day.





Prison dept looks into cell phone jamming technology

By NOELLE NICOLLS

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

THE Prison Department is reviewing bids submitted by cell phone jamming specialists in an open tender process, said Dr Elliston Rahming, Superintendent of Prisons. Once a service provider is selected, the prison intends to use the technology to block the illegal use of cell phones.

"Like prisons everywhere around the world, we are challenged by the importation of cellular phones. There are clearly too many that come in - one cell phone is too many - and it is my resolve to bring those numbers to an irreducible minimum. But failing that we will jam them, including my phone," said Dr Rahming.

Last month the prison acquired six service dogs including attack dogs, drug sniffing dogs and cell phone sniffing dogs. Prisoners use cell phones to alert criminal counterparts on the outside of upcoming court dates and thereby arrange for the intimidation of witnesses, according to Leslie Campbell from the Jamaica Department of Correctional Services. He said, "Cell phones are rampant in every corner of the prison in Jamaica", and corrupt prison officers bring them in. Dr Rahming said the Jamaican experience is applicable to the Bahamas. "Once they get use of the cell phones (they use them for) whatever use they can imagine, whatever needs they can fulfill," he said.

The Prison Act states that communication between inmates and outsiders must be made within the "sight and sound" of an officer. If an inmate uses a cell phone, he or she is in violation of the Prison Act. As for prison officers, it is against regulations for all guards to have cell phones within the living confines of inmates. There are many criminal uses prisoners find for cell phones, according to Howard Melamed, president of Cell Antenna, a US-based company specialising in cell phone jamming technology. Mr Melamed was a presenter at the forth annual conference of the Association of Caribbean Heads of Corrections and Prison Services (ACHCPS), presently underway in the Bahamas.

He said prisoners can operate cell phones as servers, and conduct business online. When they have access to credit cards, he said they order products and have them sent to the prison as gifts. He said they also use cell phones to intimidate witnesses, and to operate gambling, extortion and prostitution rings on the outside. There are examples of prisoners charged with rape, using their cell phones to "constantly harass" victims by making repeated late night phone calls and sending text messages, said Mr Melamed. One prisoner, who had under two years left to serve on his sentence, continued to operate as a pimp from inside the prison. He used the money collected to "buy drugs and other services" inside the prison, he said.

In his experience, Mr Melamed said, the few prison officers who are involved in trafficking cell phones into prisons hide it from authorities and are disciplined once they are discovered. However, he said every one has a price, and prisons should implement regulations to reduce the possibility of officers being corrupted.

"No guard should have a cell phone. It is too much of a sweet habit, worse than cocaine. Selling cell phones in prison can turn some of the best. You don't want it to be something they think of," said Mr Melamed.

"Everyone has the same problems. The politicians only get on the bandwagon when something happens," he said.

Dr Rahming said he suspected a cell phone jamming system would also be "tremendously relevant" to the Carmichael Road Detention Centre, recalling an incident where a former prison officer called him while being detained there.

He said the former employee was detained by immigration officials and scheduled for deportation to Jamaica. He said he got a call early in the morning from the former employee asking for help. "I asked, how are you calling me? She said someone down here has a cell phone".

He said the incident revealed the problem extended beyond the prison into other security agencies. A cell phone jamming device was purchased over four years ago; however that device was a military unit and knocked out cell phones from Yamacraw to Sea Breeze. Despite attempts to recalibrate the device, it had to be discarded. Dr Rahming said the prison is trying to get "a more circuital system to be contained within the prison environment".





CellAntenna Introduces Cell Phone Detection System to Prevent Passenger Train and Public Transportation Accidents

Press Release

27 May, 2010 7:15 AM

New CJAM Cell Phone TrainAlert Solution Addresses NTSB’s 2010 Federal Most Wanted List of Transportation Safety Improvements Aimed at Saving Lives. CORAL SPRINGS, Fla.--(EON: Enhanced Online News)--CellAntenna, experts in combating cell phone threats, has introduced a new cell phone detection solution designed to prevent accidents caused by locomotive engineers, bus drivers and other heavy equipment operators making calls or sending text messages while on the job.





PUMP UP THE JAM

By American Cop Magazine

May, 2010 6:15 PM

Ask most any corrections officer, " What's your biggest problem today?" and you might be as stunned as I was by the answer: cell phones in the hands of inmates. They're worse than drugs, violence and all the other stuff I thought were the real problems inside a prison. Thanks to contraband cell phones, gangsters and drug dealers continue to wield about as much...





Senate passes bill to deter inmate cell-phone access

By Donny Jackson

April 27, 2010 3:45 PM

Members of the U.S. Senate recently passed legislation that would make it felony for prison inmates to have or use cell phones while incarcerated, as issues regarding mobile devices used by inmates — often to continue criminal business — continue to be debated on Capitol Hill.Sponsored by Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.), the bill would make it felony for an inmate to use or possess a cell phone. In addition, the bill also includes penalties for those who provide an inmate with a cell phone.





Survey at International CTIA Wireless Conference Reveals 71 Percent Favor Legalizing Cell Phone Signal Jamming in Prisons

Press Release

April 01, 2010 04:35 PM,

Wireless Professionals Support Regulatory Changes to Stop Crime from Illegal Cell Phone Usage at the Prison Walls

CTIA Wireless 2010 - CORAL SPRINGS, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--CellAntenna today announced results from a survey of wireless professionals conducted at the 2010 International CTIA Wireless Conference held last week in Las Vegas, Nev., showing more than 71 percent favor cell phone jamming to eliminate illegal cell phone usage in prisons. Of 130 wireless professionals surveyed, 93 advocated legalizing signal jamming to counter safety threats and crimes stemming from the use of contraband cell phones by prisoners.





Howard Melamed to Speak at Counter Terror Expo 2010 in U.K.

By Donny Jackson

April 06, 2010 8:26 PM,

LONDON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--WHAT: Howard Melamed, CEO and president of CellAntenna Corporation, will speak at the upcoming Counter Terror Expo 2010 being held on April 14-15 in the U.K. His address is scheduled for Thursday, April 15. The presentation, titled, “Strategy and Tactics Used to Defend against Mobile Phone Terrorism,” will discuss the threat of mobile phones used in terrorist attacks, as well as strategies to combat the issue, including mobile phone jamming, mobile phone signal detection and controlling services.





Survey at International CTIA Wireless Conference Reveals 71 Percent Favor Legalizing Cell Phone Signal Jamming in Prisons

Press Release

April 01, 2010 04:35 PM,

Wireless Professionals Support Regulatory Changes to Stop Crime from Illegal Cell Phone Usage at the Prison Walls

CTIA Wireless 2010 - CORAL SPRINGS, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--CellAntenna today announced results from a survey of wireless professionals conducted at the 2010 International CTIA Wireless Conference held last week in Las Vegas, Nev., showing more than 71 percent favor cell phone jamming to eliminate illegal cell phone usage in prisons. Of 130 wireless professionals surveyed, 93 advocated legalizing signal jamming to counter safety threats and crimes stemming from the use of contraband cell phones by prisoners.





New Jamming Rules May Be Needed

By Donny Jackson

Mar 24, 2010 5:20 PM,

Signal interference is the bane of every wireless network operator, although most understand that accidental interference emissions occasionally are generated in an ever-changing RF landscape that can lead to time-consuming, and often expensive, resolutions. Given this, it is little wonder that simply mentioning notion of purposeful interference — better known as jamming — quickly raises the ire of RF engineers.




Prison Mobile Phone Debate Jammed Up in the System

By Ryan Singel

May, March 15, 2010

On paper, it’s a no-brainer: Prisoners have mobile phones they are using to run gangs, call friends, and intimidate witnesses. Tech companies have the equipment to jam the phones by flooding the airwaves, and prisons want to use them. But the 1930s law setting up the nation’s telecommunications bureaucracy makes such jamming illegal. That drives Howard Melamed, the CEO of CellAntenna, crazy. Witnesses are dying and gangs are flourishing because Congress has yet to put the Safe Prison’s Act bill on President Obama’s desk,





Federal Government Makes Cell Phone Jamming Breakthrough

Press Release

February 19, 2010

CellAntenna jamming solution tested by NTIA in federal prison in Cumberland, MD.

The battle to remove cell phones from the hands of prison inmates saw a major breakthrough this week. The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) authorized the first federally sanctioned test of cell phone signal jamming technology inside the Federal Correctional Institution in Cumberland, MD using CellAntenna technology.




CellAntenna Combats Threat of Cell Phones in Prisons and Schools

Press Release

January 05, 2010

CellAntenna Corporation is helping to combat the use of contraband cell phones in correctional facilities and schools. The company today unveiled its new CJAM™ Cell Phone Threat Scan (CTS) service, an important new offering that builds on the company’s years of leadership in enhancing or denying cellular signals.






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