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
    Dave, 12 Aug 2011 @ 9:28pm

    Who cares, just adjust to not having cell phone a few minutes

    So our cell phones were turned off for awhile, I didn't care. I don't mind that there are a million cameras watching us either, I'm not doing anything illegal. I would rather have officers around me than have my cell phone operational anyday. I wish this could happen everyday when I ride Bart. I hope the Bart protestors stay in the parking lots and not in the platforms. My hat's off to the Bart police for their ingenuity, keep up the good work.

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