Necessity is the mother of invention, and invention is the father of designing things that you can fit into your butt to sneak them into prison. And so a phone shaped exactly like a small butt plug has come into our world, and the UK government is trying to ban it.
The phones in question (and in butts) are typically made in China and designed to resemble the key fobs of luxury car brands like Bentley, Porsche, BMW, and, uh, Volkswagen. They're going on eBay for about £40, or around $70, marketed as the world's smallest mobile. But that's mostly bullshit. The phones are reportedly being marketed to prisoners, and the people who supply them. The authorities have caught on though and have moved onto new ways to get the phones out of the prisoners'... hands. Here's what a spokesperson told BBC:
"A range of techniques - including body orifice security scanners and high-sensitivity metal detectors - has seen the [overall] number of recorded seizures increase," he said.
Use your imagination.
So where does the demand for such, uh, specialised hardware come from? Well, if you remember when Giz visited San Quentin a few years back, we looked at the phones prisoners were smuggling into the prison. In their butts. The phones were huge. And because huge phones are not ideal for this line of work, these tiny capsule-sized and ergonomically shaped handsets are a godsend. For some context, here are some phones that were confiscated in San Quentin. Again, use your imagination.
So you get the appeal. A potential ban would centre around the products not being approved by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, nor having gone through the appropriate UK safety regulations, which is all fair enough. Just remember, it's not really about safety standards, but a product that saw and met the demand for gadgets we can put in our arse. [BBC via CNET]