NEWS

Smartphones Could Double as Bombs, Warns U.S. Court Committee

By Matthew Harwood

The guidance states that federal courts should team up with their district U.S. marshal and the judicial security inspector to devise policies regarding wireless communication devices.

The potential security threats posed by wireless devices is addressed relatively briefly, with much of the document addressing the use of devices to take pictures or broadcast judicial proceedings. Rule 53 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure forbids taking photographs of or broadcasting judicial proceedings, although exceptions exist. 

While there are rules prohibiting certain actions made possible by wireless devices, whether a court allows people to carry them into the courtroom "remains a matter for each federal court to decide on a courthouse-by-courthouse basis," the Administrative Office of U.S. Courts states.

Whatever policy a court sets, the committee notes that ample notice should be provided and that the policy should be featured prominently around the courthouse and the court's Web site.


♦ Photo by liewcf/Flickr

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