War is an atrocity-producing machine. But it is also a font of innovation. As a mother of invention, war imposes the most dire necessities, focusing the mind, both individual and collective, in ways that few other pursuits are capable.
War has long produced some of the most important inventions in mankind’s march towards technological mastery of its environment. Inventions such as the rifle, the pistol and gunpowder itself were conceived and refined for the purpose of battle. Throughout the 20th century, war played a prime role in the development of many of the comforts, conveniences and fundamentally groundbreaking technologies that we take for granted today.
The internet is an invention made possible by the massive spending of the Pentagon. Everything from personal computers to microwave ovens to jet airline travel can have their origins traced directly back to the U.S. war-making apparatus. The dual nature of war reflects the truism that what destroys also often creates. And while its fruits are borne only at a terrible cost, war has proven to be an engine of both economic stimulation and of innovation that has few equals.
Securus Technologies is one of the latest entities to harvest war’s rich technological vines. With the company’s Wireless Containment System, Securus has taken the lead in adapting wartime cellular interception technology to civilian applications. The Wireless Containment System is heavily based on the Stingray system developed by the Pentagon for use in both the Iraq and Afghanistan theaters. The Stingray system quickly proved to be one of the most popular and effective tools in the U.S. arsenal, intercepting enemy communications and revealing the precise location of enemy combatants. The system was credited with saving hundreds of lives and giving the U.S. the decisive battlefield edge that it needed to prevail.
Now, Securus has adapted this powerful technology for use in the nation’s prisons. Although using sophisticated military tech to confront institutional problems in the nation’s prisons may seem like overkill, the situation in which many of the nation’s prisons find themselves today is not all that different from what one might expect in theaters of urban warfare.
Prison gangs are notorious for their strict hierarchic structure, intelligent leadership and highly trained members, known, appropriately, as soldiers. The ability of highly sophisticated prison gang leaders to communicate unhindered with soldiers on the outside of prison has constituted one of the most acute threats to the prison system of the United States over the last decade.
With its Wireless Containment System, Securus has finally devised a solution to this deadly problem. The system is nearly 100-percent effective in blocking all unauthorized communications from within any prison where it is deployed. It takes one of the most powerful tools in gangs’ favor away from them, making prisons safer and saving lives.