Many experts in different fields have declared the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq prosecuted by the United States to be abysmal failures by almost every possible measure. The United States was unable to achieve any of its stated objectives in either of those theatres, and it was later revealed that the Bush Administration had either lied outright or demonstrated extreme incompetence in laying out the case for the wars.
However, like with most conflicts throughout history, there are a few silver linings to be found in America’s wayward Mideast adventures. One of the beneficial things to have come out of the Iraq and Afghanistan war was a device that was created in response to the extreme threat posed by the enemy’s easy use of cellphones for effective communications.
The so-called Stingray system was able to pinpoint the location of any cellular device being used within its operational radius. Stingray could also be used to either block or intercept any cellular communications originating from within its range, allowing the user to either shut down the enemy’s communications or listen in to what was being said. Ultimately, the Stingray system became a stalwart of almost every patrol run by U.S. forces within the Middle East, giving crucial intelligence on the movement of enemy insurgents and saving many U.S. lives in the process.
Now, Securus Technologies, one of the most important prison communications and security firms in the country, has adapted that proven wartime technology for use on a different battlefield: the U.S. prison system. Known as its Wireless Containment System, Securus has devised a high-tech answer to the scourge of contraband cellphones that have flooded the nation’s carceral institutions over the last two decades. These phones have given dangerous and highly organized criminal gangs a huge leg up over the guards assigned to protect the public and the nation’s prisons.
But now, that edge has been almost completely nullified by the ingenuity of Securus and its engineers. The Wireless Containment System has been deployed now for just over two years in a number of select U.S. prisons. The results indicate that the system is nearly 100 percent effective at accomplishing its mission; it has been able to block almost all outgoing calls from illicit cellphones in the institutions where it has been installed.
The system is not currently deployed at most prisons throughout the United States, however. Securus recently was granted full FCC approval for the Wireless Containment System, meaning that the company now has the green light to install the system in prisons and jails across the country, even those in urban settings where there may have been risks of interfering with legitimate cellular traffic.
The WCS is just another example of how Securus is keeping America and its prisons safe through technology.