FCC probes government shutdowns of wireless networks2012.03.06 10:33 by Daniela
Keywords: FCC, Wireless
The FCC is seeking public comment on the subject of when or if government agencies - such as the police or transit authorities - can intentionally jam cellphone signals and Internet service for the sake of public safety. The issue gained prominence last August after a decision by the San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) system to shut down cell phone service in several stations to thwart a protest.
The FCC is asking people to weigh in on a range of questions, including the potential authority of government agencies to shut down wireless service; and the reasons and risks behind intentional outages. Blocking access to wireless networks raises serious legal and policy issues, said Harold Feld, legal director for Public Knowledge, which joined other advocacy groups in asking the FCC to rule on the outages last year.
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