Originally published: May 30, 2012
Last updated: May 30, 2012 - 10:23pm
The Federal Communications Commission is getting an earful from public activist groups on its proposal to provide guidance on the circumstances under which cellphone service can be interrupted.
The groups -- which include Public Knowledge, Free Press, The Center for Media Justice and the Benton Foundation -- say the comments filed so far show that there is hardly a consensus about legitimate grounds for interruptions and warn the FCC that it should be wary of efforts to balance "speculative harms" to public safety against fundamental speech rights. They are skeptical that the commission can codify wireless interruption policies without seriously infringing speech rights or inviting increased usage of those interruptions. But they also argue that leaving such interruption decision to multiple state and local authorities will only result in uncertainty. So, they want the FCC to weigh in, but with the message that such interruptions are "extremely disfavored."
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