Groups ask FCC to stop local officials from disrupting mobile service

Several organizations have asked the Federal Communications Commission to ban local governments from cutting off people from their cellular networks at the whim of police officials, reports Government Technology.

The request from the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Center for Democracy and Technology in Government and other groups is a product of the drama in San Francisco that developed when Bay Area Rapid Transit officials decided Aug. 11 to shut off access to mobile service providers at four BART stations during a scheduled protest, Gov Tech writes. First Amendment advocates and hacktivists — including some members of the Anonymous clan, though not all — reproached BART officials for the heavy-handed move to stifle a public demonstration.

FCC is already investigating the matter and plans to rule on the legality of the move, Gov Tech reports. However, the groups are calling for more urgent action from the federal agency before other local governments follow in BART’s footsteps to squash communications when convenient.

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