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Active phone signals give away exam cheats

An exam for prospective government workers in Taiwan is monitored by police using spectrum analyzers. The signal-sensing devices catch at least three alleged cheaters using their cell phones.

I don't know whether working for the Taiwanese government is a coveted position.

Perhaps there are many unseen perks, such as, well, job security. However, the Taiwanese government certainly seems to believe that if you work for it, you must be not merely intelligent, but honest.

That is why the Taiwanese police decided to use spectrum analyzers to see who might be cheating in the government employment exams, a decision that seems to have exposed rotten fruit trying to infiltrate government branches.

PCWorld tells me that the Taiwanese National Communications Commission had a chat with the German firm of Rohde and Schwarz and asked them to create three special FSH4 analyzers that could be slipped into exam monitors' belts.

This is not, perhaps, the most ideal look for any exam monitor, or, indeed, any human being.

The Taiwanese government seems determined to stamp out cheating. CC John Yavuz Can/Flickr

However, their role was important: it was to see whether any of the examinees were seeking outside help. For these analyzers could detect signals from cell phones or pagers near the examination room.

It's not as if these fine German gizmos could identify the actual person who would do anything to work for the Taiwanese government. Their sensitivity for identifying the area from which a signal came, however, works in conjunction with other indications that someone might be trying to pull a fast one.

Police reportedly said that at least three cheaters were caught and ordered to apply for jobs with AT&T. (OK, I made the last part up.)

It's refreshing, though, that government organizations are following the lead of educational establishments, such as the University of Central Florida--which caught some miscreants using Vegas-style technology--in order to catch those committing fraudulent acts.

Because we just can't have people in government being prone to lying and cheating. It wouldn't be right.