Feeds

Royal guests free to tweet and hang out with Facebook friends

Ain't no jammin' goin' on

Website security in corporate America

The royal wedding won't be blanketed in a smog of radio-jamming despite reports to the contrary; such a measure is unnecessary and unworkable, not to mention illegal.

Yahoo! seems to have started the rumour, claiming that Westminster Abbey will be covered with a mobile block to prevent guests tweeting when they should be watching. But such a thing is clearly against UK law and the police tell us they've no intention of breaking that law, while O2 is proudly rolling out additional base stations to cope with the expected traffic.

O2 reckons they'll have more than 300,000 customers at the wedding (though not all in the church obviously). The operator expects an average of one call and four text messages per customer, contributing to the 65 million images which are expected to pop up on social networking sites during the event. So if you can't get a signal on the day, don't blame overzealous security forces but those around you who are uploading their experience to Facebook.

It would be perverse for a network operator to increase capacity while expecting its customers to be cut off by governmental jamming, not to mention that any use of jamming equipment is against UK law, which the police are expected to obey just like everyone else.

Ofcom tells us the only place a jammer may be permitted is within the walls of one of Her Majesty's prisons, as they belong to the Crown, though even that exception is legally unclear. America permits federal bodies to jam mobile phone frequencies, but not state ones, oddly enough preventing the use of jamming in prisons.

But even if jamming were permitted, it would be of little use on Friday. The justification is usually that a mobile phone may be used to remotely set off a bomb in a parked car, or concealed at the side of the road, but along the royal route there will be no parked cars so such a plan is anyway doomed.

As for blocking mobile signals to ensure polite behaviour by guests, etiquette can't really be enforced by technology. These days everyone from Nick Clegg to Elton John to the Abbey itself are part of the Twitter generation, and won't stand to have their scribblings interfered with. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

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
ISPs' post-net-neutrality world is built on 'bribes' says Tim Berners-Lee
Father of the worldwide web is extremely peeved over pay-per-packet-type plans
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'
Google+ GOING, GOING ... ? Newbie Gmailers no longer forced into mandatory ID slurp
Mountain View distances itself from lame 'network thingy'
Blockbuster book lays out the first 20 years of the Smartphone Wars
Symbian's David Wood bares all. Not for the faint hearted
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.