Cell Phone Signal Jammers

Silencers that block cell phone signals are available, but are currently illegal for use by the general public in the United States and Canada.

Industry Canada is launching three months of public consultation to determine how Canadians feel about using the jammers to counter widespread complaints about cell phones that disturb the peace and quiet in tranquil locations such as restaurants and theatres.

David Warnes, a senior adviser with Industry Canada, said the jammers have varying ranges, and include ''elegant''models that can switch cell phone rings to a vibration or turn down ring volumes remotely.

The Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association, which represents the major cell phone suppliers and information technology giants such as Nortel, is lobbying fiercely against the jamming proposal, citing public safety (ed. note - not their pocketbooks!), as their primary concern. Some restaurants fear the jammers would drive their customers away.

Another industry association, the Radio Advisory Board of Canada, has warned Industry Canada and the manufacturers of cell phone jammers they face potential legal problems if the technology is approved for civilian use. Denial of emergency cell phone service could make either the government, the jammer provider or the cell phone provider liable if lives are lost or other damage occurs because emergency calls could not be made, the advisory board said in a position paper released last November.

Cell phone silencers now can be legally used only for public security and safety reasons by police forces and other government agencies. Police can jam cell phone frequencies in situations such as hostage-takings and other emergencies.

-Vancouver Sun, March 8, 2001

Please send your views to Industry Canada before July 12, 2001, quoting # DGTP-002-01:

Director General, Telecommunications Policy Branch
Industry Canada
16th Floor, Jean Edmonds Tower North
300 Slater Street
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0C8
Fax: 613-998-1256
Email

Queen Elizabeth banned servants from carrying cell phones because their constant ringing annoyed her. The command was issued last November after a series of family meals and formal dinners were interrupted.

-Vancouver Sun, December 7, 2000

Lawsuit Against Ferry Terminal Expansion

A group of some three hundred citizens, the Gleneagles Concerned Parents Committee, has filed a lawsuit against the BC Ferries Corporation over their proposed terminal expansion at Horseshoe Bay in West Vancouver. West Vancouver District and the West Vancouver School Board have joined with the citizens as intervenors in the suit.

The expansion will result in a total of eighteen lanes of ferry and through traffic beside Gleneagles Elementary School. The parents cite concerns about the effect on their childrens' health and learning environment from two years of construction noise and air pollution, as well as ongoing noise, air, and visual pollution thereafter from idling cars and diesel trucks. The West Vancouver District is concerned that the major expansion will negatively affect the small neighbourhood community of Horseshoe Bay. Despite the lawsuit, BC Ferries began work on the project January 25, 2001. A stop work injunction application was denied, with the judge instead choosing to monitor the situation.

-Vancouver Sun, Nov. 29, 2000, Jan. 25, & March 8, 2001

Entire contents © 2001 Right to Quiet Society. Cartoon © 1996 Right to Quiet Society

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