gordon.dewis.ca - Random musings from Gordon


Archive for March 31st, 2009

Industry Canada needs to fine Port Hardy Secondary School

March 31, 2009 @ 21:14 By: gordon Category: Amateur radio, Current affairs, In the news

The Globe and Mail had a story this morning that caught my eye. To combat the use of cell phones by students in his school, Steve Gray, the principal of Port Hardy Secondary School, purchased a cell phone jamming device. The students figured out within a couple of days that something was interfering with their cell phones and quickly organized a demonstration. The principal eventually gave in and turned off the device.

At first pass, jamming cell phones in the school might seem like a not unreasonable solution to the problem. Students shouldn’t be using their cell phones in class, so if their phones are jammed it shouldn’t affect them.

The problem is that cell phone jamming devices are illegal in Canada under sections 4 and 9 of the Radiocommunication Act. Specifically, Section 4(2) states:

(2) No person shall manufacture, import, distribute, lease, offer for sale or sell any radio apparatus, interference-causing equipment or radio-sensitive equipment for which a technical acceptance certificate is required under this Act, otherwise than in accordance with such a certificate.

Section 9(1)(b) states:

9. (1) No person shall

(b) without lawful excuse, interfere with or obstruct any radiocommunication;

Anyone who violates either section 4 or 9(1)(a) or (b) or who “without lawful excuse, manufactures, imports, distributes, leases, offers for sale, sells, installs, modifies, operates or possesses any equipment or device, or any component thereof, under circumstances that give rise to a reasonable inference that the equipment, device or component has been used, or is or was intended to be used, for the purpose of contravening section 9” is …

guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction and is liable, in the case of an individual, to a fine not exceeding five thousand dollars or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year, or to both, or, in the case of a corporation, to a fine not exceeding twenty-five thousand dollars.

The principal claims that he didn’t think it was illegal to operate the jammer. Ignorance of the law is no excuse.  He now knows that it is illegal to operate or even possess a cell phone jammer, but he’s quoted in the article as stating “I’m going to hold onto it and hope the regulations follow reality.”

Industry Canada needs to immediately confiscate the device and fine the school board for breaking the law by both having operated the device and possessing it.

And the students need to respect the rules established by their school and turn their phones off when they’re in class.