is attributed to Harold Feld, legal director for Public Knowledge:
“The Federal Communications Commission yesterday asked
for public comment to determine the proper policy when government authorities
intentionally disrupt wireless service.
The notice came about as a result of the actions on August 11, 2011 when
the San Francisco-area Bay Area Rapid Transit System (BART) cut off wireless
service, claiming a threat to public safety.
“We are pleased that the Commission is looking into
this very important issue. On August 29,
2011, Public Knowledge, along with Broadband Institute of
California, Center for Democracy and Technology, Center for Media Justice,
Electronic Frontier Foundation, Media Access Project, Minority Media and
Telecommunications Council, and National Hispanic Media Coalition, asked the
Commission to rule whether the action by BART authorities was legal under the
“We agree with FCC Chairman
Genachowski that any such a cutoff ‘raises
legal and policy issues, and must meet a very high bar.’ The same wireless network that police
see as a tool for rioters to coordinate is the same wireless network used by
peaceful protesters to exercise our fundamental freedoms. More than that, in any event, the network will be
necessary for people in the area to call for help or to let family members know
they are not harmed.
“We look forward to participating in the FCC
The FCC notice is here: http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-12-311A1.pdf.
A copy of the emergency petition is here: http://www.publicknowledge.org/emergency-petition-declaratory-ruling-re-bart