Originally published: May 3, 2012
Last updated: May 3, 2012 - 7:03pm
Disrupting mobile phone service is a legitimate tool for law enforcement authorities working against terrorism or other dangerous situations, a mass transit agency has said in defending its own mobile shutdown last August. The Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) District, serving the San Francisco area, has an obligation to protect its riders, wrote Grace Crunican, BART's general manager, in a filing to the Federal Communications Commission.
The FCC has been investigating BART's three-hour shutdown of mobile-phone base stations in some of its San Francisco stations last August in an attempt to disrupt a planned protest. Mobile devices can be used to detonate explosives, Crunican wrote. "BART is concerned ... that it must have the tools at its disposal to protect that public from wrongful use of wireless devices, as they can be used as an instrument for doing harm to passengers and BART employees," she wrote. "A temporary disruption of cell phone service, under extreme circumstances where harm and destruction are imminent, is a necessary tool to protect passengers."
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