BART disables cell service to disrupt expected demonstrations

Discussion in 'Railways, Highways, Waterways' started by Mike, Aug 13, 2011.

  1. KrazyKat

    KrazyKat Original Member

    The BART Board is elected.
    (What a time sink with my reply being deemed "too long!" 3X!)
    The previous GM was forced to retire having saved the agency money, improved performance, after an illegal vote to dismiss her in Feb, a split vote. Directors Franklin, Fang, John McPartland, Robert Raburn and Tom Radulovich voted to fire Dugger at the Feb. 10 meeting in violation of public meeting rules. Directors Lynette Sweet, Joel Keller, and Gail Murray opposed
    The new GM is not on the job yet (from Seattle), I believe. So this played out in the last days of the Interim's job. So I see a new career for Sherwood Wakeman as well.
    AngryMiller likes this.
  2. RB

    RB Founding Member

    I cannot see how BART can prevail on this. The feds have overruled state and federal prison authorities that were trying to install cell phone signal blocking devices inside of prisons. Introduction of cell phones to prison populations is a major problem which could be eased by blocking the cell signals. The problem is so bad that at one federal institution (may be a federal wide policy) employees are not permitted cells phones inside the secure area.
    AngryMiller likes this.
  3. N965VJ

    N965VJ Original Member

    As I understand it, devices that can block or jam cellular signals are illegal. A correctional facility does not have any say over terrestrial cell sites, but BART turned off power to repeaters that they provided as a service. The fine point would be in the service contract language of the repeaters, and / or if BART owns them.
    Elizabeth Conley likes this.
  4. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    As a government agency, BART also has to deal with a meddlesome complication known as the first amendment.
  5. KrazyKat

    KrazyKat Original Member

  6. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    The hacker wars continue:

    Sys-Con Media: TSA speaks out about fake bomb arrestsBART Police Officers Association Info Hacked & Leaked

    TG Daily: First-timer claims responsibility for latest BART hack

    Watertown Daily Times: Hackers gain access to transit police union site

  7. KrazyKat

    KrazyKat Original Member

    A SF protestor after TUG's own heart:
    Photo Michael Short, SF Weekly

    Apparently the BART spokeshole's inspiration for the cell cutoff came to him in a dream:
    from one of the AP wire stories:
  8. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    I love it -- most of the shootings (4 going back 2 years, 3 by BART, 1 by the SFPD) were trying to arrest fare scofflaws, so the protesters are demanding free rides to eliminate the shootings. :D

    Can you link to the picture instead of copying it -- avoids copyright issues. Thanks!
  9. KrazyKat

    KrazyKat Original Member

    BART's open letter to customers, explaining the cell cutoff, based on "intelligence":
    The letter makes a distinction between the paid and open parts of their system. Although the cell cutoff would have affected both, the letter states it was done in order to thwart "planned coordination of illegal activity on the BART platforms". Stay tuned. The BART Board will discuss this in an open :) meeting on Wednesday 8/24/11. However another protest will take place Monday August 22, 2011.
  10. AngryMiller

    AngryMiller Original Member

    SF Subway Sets Up Public Forum to Debate Cell Shut Down

    This isn't over by a long shot.
    Cartoon Peril likes this.
  11. Cartoon Peril

    Cartoon Peril Original Member

    Lisa Simeone likes this.
  12. KrazyKat

    KrazyKat Original Member

    Boneheaded move, says columnist, when BART
    BART disabled equipment rather than jammed cell signals, for pre-emptive security strike on dangerous communications, but as Larry Magid writes:
    FB comments.
    Cartoon Peril likes this.
  13. KrazyKat

    KrazyKat Original Member

    Update: As tired as riders may be of the protests, the BART Board still does not get it, and indeed needs a major overhaul. (Wondering too if the new GM from Seattle is having second thoughts).

    BART met Wednesday 8/24/11 and decided to craft a policy over the next month on cell phone cut-offs, and as an afterthought added the idea of running that by the FCC.
    No mention was made of the existing BART pact with DHS.

    The ACLU’s very brief (and very damning) letter outlines the case law, including the courts’ particularly dim view on prior restraint. The FCC is investigating and one Commissioner has already concurred that critics raise some “very valid points.”
  14. Caradoc

    Caradoc Original Member

    What's the over/under on the TSA wanting to install cell jammers at the checkpoints to insure that people can't upload their Youtube videos before the local TSA goons convince people to delete them or be arrested?
    Lisa Simeone likes this.
  15. Cartoon Peril

    Cartoon Peril Original Member

    My hunch is that signal jamming is more difficult that one might think, perhaps beyond the ability of pizza-box recruits to operate, and in any case there are probably some FAA/FCC issues considering this is an airport.
    Lisa Simeone likes this.
  16. Caradoc

    Caradoc Original Member

    Nah, jamming is easy - as long as you have the requisite disregard for existing law, like the TSA does.
    Lisa Simeone likes this.
  17. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    They are illegal, but you can buy ready-made cell phone jammers.
  18. TravelnMedic

    TravelnMedic Original Member

    Hmmm I wonder if BART general counsel was aware of this, or if Francine is doing some freelance work. Beyond the massive FCC violations, the liability they opened themselves to for liability & negligence if anything were to happen to anyone. ie person goes down from a heart attack and dies because ems doesn't get there in time. There's a 8 figure payout easy for that one. I really hope the FCC persues this and fines BART big time just to prove a point.
    barbell likes this.
  19. nachtnebel

    nachtnebel Original Member

    BART's position is that only by them installing and maintaining special equip to enable signals in their stations and tunnels can you have cell access in the first place, so they have the right to not provide this. Interesting position. Somewhat defensible. Politically interesting tug of war though, in the bay area.
  20. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    A private company could make that argument -- the Bill of Rights only limits what government can do.

    The government cannot make that argument. Once speech is facilitated, they cannot abridge it.

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