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The Ministry of Economic Affairs tried to block the telephone signal in his building

Admin Posted on 2020-11-10

"No bids have been made", concluding the event for the direct purchase of a "signal blocker to be installed in the central building of the Ministry of Economic Affairs" that attempts to commission this service from a cell phone jammer to block the signals from cell phones .

With the operation number Guatecompras (NOG) the tender 7265298 of the Ministry of Economy (Mineco) was submitted on November 30th to buy the service of a "jamming system that blocks the various telephone signals (3G / 4G / GSM / WIFI). Handy", that would be installed at the headquarters of that Ministry in Zone 1.

22 Antennas Wireless Signal Jammer

The sun protection would have a density of five meters, five detachable antennas and would be completely protected against iPhone 3, 4 and 5. iPad, all Samsung 3 and 4G phones, HTC phones, Motorola and all other phones.

Mineco spokeswoman Marisol Zea responded that the event had been annulled and that "it will not be requested again". The system was intended for use in a meeting room, but could not determine exactly in which room of the building it would be used. We have four rooms that can be used, he added.

It is not intended to be used to block anyone in the building or cut someone off communication, it is only used for training sessions that require attendees' full attention, the spokesman said.

For Ricardo Barrientos, Senior Economist at the Central American Institute for Fiscal Studies (Icefi), the event is unusual for a portfolio like Mineco as this acquisition does not meet the purposes and objectives set by law.

If you want to purchase the signal blocker to protect the topics covered in this portfolio, authorities need to take into account that meeting attendees' agendas and lists are public information, Barrientos said, asking if they want to deal with extreme confidentiality or some secrecy issues at Mineco.

According to Barrientos, if it is intended for use in a classroom, you need to know what type of information you want to protect and what laws are in place to implement this measure, as it would be enough to require cell phones to be turned off outside of the room.

For Violeta Mazariegos, Head of the Executive Secretariat of the Commission for Access to Public Information (SECAI), this is a superfluous expense and she said that the technical and legal advice on which the purchase decision was based should be known. "What indicator of the quality of the spending and what expected results justify this purchase," he added.

Zea assured that the equipment will be priced between Q4 thousand and Q6 thousand, but on websites the price for this system is around $ 1,500.

The company 5G Americas published a document in February which indicated that the disadvantages of the Jammer system are that it blocks communication with emergency numbers that need to be activated and are also technologically difficult to configure so that they only work in the specific area. Some countries prohibit its use by individuals.

The same block that Mineco operates in has a church, offices of Congress and the Public Ministry.

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