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[ NNSquad ] Worst idea of the day: U.S. may require jamming of cell phone use inside vehicles

/If this comes to pass, I will make a ton of $ removing the jammers from 

/Also, just wait till someone goes to report a crime, an emergency call 
or an accident and it doesn't go thru, and the law-vultures get 
involved. This will be a MESS!
Also, as anyone familiar with radio knows, ( Lauren)  radio signals 
don't respect any territory. Imagine the interference generated, and 
resulting poor coverage in urban canyons, where cell signals are already 
overtaxed, and marginal in signal strength. Thousands of cars emitting 
jamming signals affecting pedestrian traffic will render the devices 
useless in cities. The result will be phones switching to higher power 
levels (this is automatic*) and reduced battery life at the bare 
minimum. At this bare minimum, I'd expect to see a noise floor rise of 
up to 20db, and interference to adjacent services as well, like GPS (due 
to uneven mixing in poorly designed jamming transmitters and nearby 
electronics, remember, cheap is the design imperative here).
Cellular companies had better get out in front of this fast, otherwise, 
they face the very real prospect of major cities being inhospitable to 
hand held phones until every one of the interference-mobiles is gone.

* When a cell phone decides its getting a very weak signal, it 
automatically increases its power up to a point to better enable it to 
communicate with what it sees as a poor connection or weak signal. This 
algorithm is built in to conserve battery while allowing full power for 
marginal signal conditions. jamming from multiple vehicles on urban 
streets will cause this condition to be perceived by the handsets, and 
as a side effect, exposing the users to higher than necessary RF output 
than needed to normally make a call when the phone ramps up output power.

Bob Frankston wrote:
> I can't help but think about legislation requiring every car have a person
> walking in front of it to assure that horses won't get scared. The idea that
> one should use the DNS to control the net is bad enough. The idea that cell
> phones have only one purpose -- talking while driving -- is just as dumb. If
> we ban cell phones
> *Passengers won't be able to communicate
> *Navigation systems won't get or provide updates
> *Medical monitors would fail
> *Emergency SMS systems won't be able to warn you about weather conditions.
> Well, fighting the last war is Congress' forte.
> Next topic TSA probing every cavity ...

  [ There is a way -- in theory anyway -- to block cell phone use
    more selectively (e.g., still allowing 911 calls) and avoiding
    outright jamming.  That's the use of "picocells" to "intercept"
    cell phones before they reach the primary cellular networks.  But
    this would face immense challenges in the mobile environment
    as well.

      -- Lauren Weinstein
         NNSquad Moderator ]

> -----Original Message-----
> From: nnsquad-bounces+nnsquad=bobf.frankston.com@nnsquad.org
> [mailto:nnsquad-bounces+nnsquad=bobf.frankston.com@nnsquad.org] On Behalf Of
> Lauren Weinstein
> Sent: Thursday, November 18, 2010 17:27
> To: nnsquad@nnsquad.org
> Subject: [ NNSquad ] U.S. may require jamming of cell phone use inside
> vehicles
> U.S. may require jamming of cell phone use inside vehicles
> http://bit.ly/deUpGb  (Daily Caller)
> Two items on this for Secretary LaHood:
> 1) A dangerous and stupid idea for both technical and (ironically)
>    safety reasons
> 2) Good (Blankin') Luck getting people to put up with this one
> --Lauren--
> Lauren Weinstein (lauren@vortex.com)
> http://www.vortex.com/lauren
> Tel: +1 (818) 225-2800
> Co-Founder, PFIR (People For Internet Responsibility): http://www.pfir.org
> Founder, NNSquad (Network Neutrality Squad): http://www.nnsquad.org Founder,
> GCTIP (Global Coalition for Transparent Internet Performance):
>    http://www.gctip.org
> Founder, PRIVACY Forum: http://www.vortex.com Member, ACM Committee on
> Computers and Public Policy Lauren's Blog: http://lauren.vortex.com
> Twitter: https://twitter.com/laurenweinstein
> Google Buzz: http://bit.ly/lauren-buzz