Late last week, after it came out that BART had decided to shut down mobile phone service in one station because of the threat of a protest (which never actually materialized) many people started questioning the legality of the move. Now comes the word that the FCC is investigating
. It will be interesting to see what they have to say. I'm not sure if it actually did violate any specific FCC rules, though I would imagine that the FCC might worry about this kind of thing becoming more common. It seems to me that the First Amendment argument (which I would believe is outside the FCC's purview) is much stronger. Here, an entity acting on behalf of the government shut down a form of communication specifically directed at a form of protest speech
in an attempt to block that speech. You can get away with things if they're "content neutral," but in a case where BART officials have flat out admitted that they were targeting speech they didn't like, it seems like there's a strong First Amendment claim, though I'm not sure who would actually bring such a lawsuit.