Feeds

Prisoners plot strike action over mobile phones

Fag-deprived Georgia lags pull labour, refuse to shop

Security for virtualized datacentres

Prisoners in Georgia (the US one) are striking for better conditions and pay, in an action coordinated across institutions thanks to the wonders of modern technology and poor contraband enforcement.

The prisoners, some of who were interviewed by the New York Times, reckon that about one in ten local lags is mobile-equipped, and after their fag cigarette ration was withdrawn around September they decided to take advantage of that fact to organise a protest.

Knowing that other prisons are equally well equipped, as well as knowing the value of collective action, they used numbers obtained through prisoner transfers and outside contacts to coordinate the action across institutions and demographics:

"We have to come together and set aside all differences, whites, blacks, those of us that are affiliated in gangs," said "Mike", who declined to give his full name but is apparently incarcerated in Smith State Prison. Mike went on to explain that one representative for each dormitory at each jail is keeping the various groups informed, while trying to keep the prisoners patient and discourage them from resorting to violence.

The prisoners want to be paid for the work they do, and have more access to educational resources - they probably want their cigarettes back too, though that's not on the list of formal demands. Until that happens they're refusing to shop in the prison shop, and refusing to work.

The prisons and state prison service haven't acknowledged the strike, though several of the institutions concerned are apparently "locked down", so something is going on inside. Whether the protest is genuinely a mass movement facilitated through mobile communications, or a dozen dispersed lags with an eye for good publicity, is hard to judge; but it does demonstrate how pervasive communications are and how difficult it is to control an individual's access to them. ®

Protecting against web application threats using SSL

More from The Register

next story
Brit telcos warn Scots that voting Yes could lead to HEFTY bills
BT and Co: Independence vote likely to mean 'increased costs'
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Turnbull: NBN won't turn your town into Silicon Valley
'People have been brainwashed to believe that their world will be changed forever if they get FTTP'
Blockbuster book lays out the first 20 years of the Smartphone Wars
Symbian's David Wood bares all. Not for the faint hearted
Bonking with Apple has POUNDED mobe operators' wallets
... into submission. Weve squeals, ditches payment plans
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL
Discussing the vulnerabilities inherent in Wi-Fi networks, and how using TLS/SSL for your entire site will assure security.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.