BART Turns Off Mobile Phone Service At Station Because It Doesn't Want Protestors To Communicate

from the really-now? dept

With all the talk in the UK from politicians about shutting down mobile messaging services, it's worth pointing out that it apparently takes much less to shut down mobile service in the US at times. Jacob Appelbaum points out that BART -- the Bay Area Rapid Transit train system here in the California Bay Area -- apparently shut down all cell service at a station under the (false, as it turns out) belief that protesters were going to show up there:
As an added precaution, the agency shut off cellphone service on the station's platform. While Alkire said the tactic was an unusual measure, he said it was "a great tool to utilize for this specific purpose" given that the agency was expecting a potentially volatile situation.
That's really quite incredible, and I'm at a loss to see how that could be allowed. Because BART feared people protesting it literally shut down mobile phone service at its station? Since this particular station is underground, it has special equipment as regular cell towers don't reach the station. However, that shouldn't give BART officials the right to just turn off the service because they're unhappy that people might protest.

Filed Under: bart, free speech, mobile phones, protests, wireless
Companies: bart

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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Aug 2011 @ 4:06pm

    Re: Well, yes and no...

    I'm with you. These people want to protest over a perceived wrong-doing (from what I can tell they just want to piss and moan over what is actually a reasonable outcome of a shitty situation. A guy weilding a knife and trying to cut people is gonna get shot, cops or no). And these people are going out of their way to disrupt thousands of people who have nothing to do with it.

    Having cellphone service downstairs is a PRIVELEGE, and I completely support BART utilizing what resources it could to prevent a vocal minority from taking hostage of thousands for their own political agendas.

    I'm as outraged as the next guy over the Oscar Grant thing, but they're using this latest shooting as an excuse to be shitty people and take it out on other unwilling participants.

    Hell, I'm liable to shoot a protester if they feel the need to keep me in SF when all I want to do is go home after a long day at work.

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