The Senate has passed the Safe Prisons Communications Act of 2009—allowing authorities to jam cellphone signals inside prisons.

As a safeguard, the FCC would also be required to protect legitimate communications by conducting tests, approving equipment and laying out specific rules about when and where signals could be blocked. As you might expect, the issue of inmates using cellphones to conduct nefarious business has become a problem over the last few years. The House still needs to approve the bill—but it seems like a no-brainer to me. I mean, think about all the time officers would save when they don't have to hunt for cellphones being smuggled in by carrier pigeons, R/C helicopters and buttholes. [WSJ via Phone Scoop via CrunchGear]