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Government Asks When It Can Shut Down Wireless Communications 267

Posted by Soulskill
from the right-after-we-vote-you-all-out-of-office dept.
Fluffeh writes "Around nine months ago, BART Police asked to have wireless communications disabled (PDF) between Trans Bay Tube Portal and the Balboa Park Station. That was because they knew a public protest was to take place there — and the service to the underground communication system was disabled. This affected not only cellphone signals, but also the radio systems of Police, Fire and Ambulance crews (PDF) within the underground. This led to an even larger protest at a BART station and many folks filed complaints along with the American Civil Liberties Union and Electronic Frontier Foundation. The FCC responded by launching a probe into the incident. The results were a mixed bag of 'To protect citizens!' and 'Only in extreme cases,' not to mention the classic 'Terrorists use wireless communications!' But even if the probe doesn't lead to a full proceeding and formal order, the findings may well be used as a guide for many years to come."
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Government Asks When It Can Shut Down Wireless Communications

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  • by Darinbob (1142669) on Tuesday May 08, 2012 @09:30PM (#39936869)

    Overcrowding of a station will very likely cause safety issues. You don't have to have someone with the express intent to murder before you try to limit the damage of some kid's subway station rave party.

    Your right to free speech does not trump the rights of people around you; including their rights to free speech, rights to assume safety in a public place, rights to peaceably assemble without violence of others, the right to leave trains without being harassed, etc. You do not have the right to shout "fire" in a crowded theater as the saying goes, which seems a very apt analogy to telling everyone possible to crowd into a BART station to shut it down which would be an accident waiting to happen. Protest above ground where it's safe.

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