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Cell Phones, Prisons, and Plans…

Here’s another interesting tidbit! Hat tip to my friend John for emailing the link ;-) That prisons have a problem with cell phones ought not to be a surprise to people working in corrections – it might be a surprise to those who don’t work in the system. An article by William Saletan at Slate not only highlights some of the obvious problems (including drug dealers inside setting up deals and murders outside), but also highlights some of the possible technological solutions *GASP* an industry policing itself?? CTIA (wireless carriers’ association) convened to help solve the problem… Nope, guess I’m kind of in Saletan’s camp:

Good for you, CTIA. But I don’t believe for a minute that you’d be working hard on these alternatives if you weren’t facing the threat of federally authorized jamming. And this is one reason why I’m not a pure libertarian. Can technology help the good guys stay ahead in the cell-phone arms race? Yes. Is industry better than government at coming up with creative, pinpoint solutions? Yes. Will industry do this without the threat of clumsy, burdensome government intervention? No.

So thank you, senators, for applying the heat. And don’t forget the same lesson as you’re legislating health care reform. Government-run alternatives don’t always have to outperform private industry. They just have to scare it.

The article is short and hits the mark – a great read! Thanks John.

Cheers all!

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