FCC Investigating Legality Of BART Celluar Service Shutdown

IT Management

Share this Post

Last week the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) system shut off transmitters which make it possible to obtain cellphone reception in their underground stations. Their reasoning was to disrupt a potential protest that could materialize after a fatal police shooting (the protest never happened though).

It now appears that the Federal Communications Commission is looking into the San Francisco trance agency for blocking the aforementioned cellphone service. FCC spokesman Neil Grace told The Hill:

"Any time communications services are interrupted, we seek to assess the situation … we are continuing to collect information about BART’s actions and will be taking steps to hear from stakeholders about the important issues those actions raised, including protecting public safety and ensuring the availability of communications networks."

Numerous people began questioning the legality of the shutdown, as most saw it as a violation of the First Amendment. The hacktivist group Anonymous also disagreed with BART's methods, and proceeded to deface the website, and even released the user info database from MyBart.gov.

Yesterday BART authorities prepped for another surge of protests after Anonymous called for a real-lfe protest on Monday night. Using Twitter hashtags such as #BartOp and #MuBARTak (a reference to the former Egyptian leader who killed telephone and Internet access in the country).

It should be noted that no arrests were made during the protests and cellphone service was functional during the protest.

[Lead image courtesy]