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Wireless signals to be jammed in Canada for G8 summit

'Bubble of electronic silence' without warning

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Government officials in Canada may temporarily block wireless signals as part of an effort to secure world leaders during the G8 and G20 summit scheduled in Ontario later this month.

Wireless companies told the CBC they've been warned their signals may be blocked and no advanced warning will be given. The jamming is expected to be used to create a “moving bubble of electronic silence around motorcades."

World leaders have long used jamming to stymie the use of remote-controlled bombs, but details are often hard to come by. In 2003, Pakistan's then-President Pervez Musharraf was spared when the technology was used to block a signal being transmitted to bombs under a bridge, Wired reported. Canada's jamming plans became public because authorities are required to apply for an exemption under the country's Radiocommunications Act, which forbids interfering with the airwaves.

New York City Police have said they are considering using wireless jamming in the event of certain terrorist attacks to prevent the perpetrators from communicating, following reports that gunmen in Mumbai used hand-held devices during a deadly rampage in November 2008. People operating the jamming technology have to exercise care, since law enforcement also relies on wireless signals to communicate.

The G8 summit is scheduled for June 25 and 26 just north of Toronto, and the G20 is slated for June 26 and 27. The CBC's article is here. ®

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