ACA calls to retain jamming ban

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Mobile phone jammers should continue to be banned, according to a recommendation from a government regulatory body.

The Australian Communications Authority (ACA) has made a recommendation to government that the ban on use, possession or supply of mobile phone jammers should remain in place.

Tony Shaw, ACA chairman, said that the grounds for the general ban on jammers--introduced four years ago--hadn't changed.

“Jammers cannot be contained to a discrete location, and there is a danger of spillover beyond the area which the device is set up to cover,” Shaw said.

There had been a call for the ban to be lifted so that mobile phone jammers could be used by prisons, according to an ACA statement. But, while Shaw said he understood the concerns raised by Corrective Services, the ACA believed the disadvantages of allowing jammers to be used outweighed the advantages.

Shaw said that one of the key issues was the potential that a jammer device could be used to interfere with phone numbers used by emergency organisations. “Because many prisons are close to populated areas, major road and highways, there is a very real risk that legitimate users could be prevented from accessing help in an emergency, with serious consequences,” Shaw said.

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