FCC gives state prisons tech options to quash cellphones

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FILE- This Dec. 14, 2017, file photo, shows the seal of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) before a meeting in Washington. Congressional leaders and a media accountability organization are urging the Federal Communications Commission to examine how policy decisions have disparately harmed Black people and other communities of color, according to a letter sent Tuesday, June 29, 2021, to the acting FCC chair. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Federal regulators are giving state prisons across the country more technological options to combat contraband cellphones.

Prison officials say the devices represent the greatest security threat behind bars. Federal Communications Commission had been set to discuss the issue Tuesday, but officials said they had already adopted a ruling. FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel said in an online statement the commission’s action “sets up a streamlined system” for corrections officials to use interdiction systems to identify where contraband phones may be in use and ask that wireless carriers deactivate them.

The move stops short of addressing cell signal jamming, but Rosenworcel says the commission is open to more discussion.

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