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South African government blocks GSM signal during State of the Union address sparks outcry

Perfectjammer 2022/11/03

  The South African government blocked mobile-phone signals during the 2015 State of the Nation address, stopping journalists from reporting on the proceedings and prompting an outcry that even had its own protest hashtag: #BringBackTheSignal."If there are people talking over the movie, there's always the option of the annoying patrons being physically removed because they're breaching a condition of their entry.In many places where the use of mobile phones is prohibited, interference devices that shield the basic communication of mobile phones, also known as gsm jammers, are installed.

South African government blocks GSM signal during State of the Union address sparks outcry

  While illegal in private hands, at least in Australia, legitimate use of scanners by government agencies can still generate crippling PR in a world where we consider mobile communications a virtual human right." In the end, like a lot of technologies the internet and mobile age have given us, the right way to behave might seem like common sense on the surface, but how long might it be before some high-profile lawsuit settles the legalities for us?

  We see it in hotels where hotel chains want visitors to pay for internet access, and entertainment venues like the movies or theatre where cell phones might disrupt the audience, he said." But therein lies the thornier issue of whether commercial venue operators, hotels, and so on even have the right to ask us to surrender access to our phones at all.Jeff Bernstein is the managing director of New York security and intelligence services provider T&M Protection Resources, and he's seen the presence of measures to block phone use grow."[What about] the rights of those who want to enjoy an event without interruption or annoyance, or those who don't want to be photographed by their neighbours?" he asked.

   It's a point that raises what might be the central conundrum.To Associate Professor David Lindsay of Monash University's Faculty of Law, the linchpin is an issue of consent.No issue of indemnity arises from people agreeing to their phone being blocked.Those who operate venues can impose terms and conditions on people entering," he said.One example he points to is the increasing measures to prevent movie piracy."The terms and conditions can relate to conduct, including use of mobile phones."Phone jamming's also occurring in schools and learning institutions, although it's a very controversial issue given it blocks students from emergency services."There are far wider issues here about connectivity – and our seemingly overwhelming urge to be always on – but there's also a growing territoriality about intellectual property and mechanisms that might be used to enforce it," he said.

  If a company or venue blocks phone signals and people can't call for help in an emergency, who will be liable? "It's a weird one in as much as people have the mechanism to communicate more, but the ways and means to do it are being throttled," said Michael Kemp, co-founder of UK-based IT security provider Xiphos Research.There's already been a flurry of activity around gsm jammer in Australia, with Fairfax reporting as far back as 2012 how popular they were becoming, and how an ACMA crackdown a year later saw almost 100 jamming devices destroyed.The portable jammer is convenient for us to use indoors and outdoors, while the desktop jammer uses a variety of antenna designs.