BART to Consider New Policy for Cutting Cellphone Service

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Just as the weekly BART protests have become a faded memory, the transit agency released its  new proposed policy that would allow BART to temporarily cut cellphone service -- but only in extraordinary, 9/11-type scenarios.

So if you are planning to use your cellphone as an explosive, or use it to facilitate violent activity, or to collude with others substantially disrupt service, then, yes, BART could -- and probably would -- jam cellphone service at the stations, said Bob Franklin, president of the BART Board of Directors.

The policy recommendation, which will go before the board for consideration next week, comes just two months after BART was highly criticized for shutting off wireless service on Aug. 11 to prevent protesters from coordinating a demonstration at the stations. The cellphone interruption only provoked protesters and members of Anonymous, which purportedly hacked into BART's website and released personal information of both passengers and police.

Yet Franklin tells us that this new policy, if passed, means BART wouldn't interrupt cellphone service to keep protesters from organizing.
"It could apply, but it would have to be extraordinary circumstance, and the example given is if people chained themselves to a BART train, which could trap 8,000 people in the Transbay Tube -- then we would have to deal with it," Franklin said.

Read the proposed policy here.

Protesters had spread the word that they would gather at the Civic Center BART station on Aug. 11 to protest BART police after the July 3 fatal shooting of Charles Hill, a transient who allegedly threatened BART police with a knife. BART caught wind of this plan, and in a last-ditch effort to stop the chaos, it made the executive decision to completely cut cellphone service to all passengers at four stations.

Needless to say, that didn't go over well with most people (except for Republicans), and the BART board later conceded it had overreacted.

 "It's not a clear-cut 'yes we did the right thing,' or 'no we didn't do the right thing,'" Franklin says in retrospect. "But if police had just gone in there and started wholesale arresting people in advance [of the protest], it would have created a much greater uproar."

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8 comments
Fah Q
Fah Q

Just kick off all of the dirty fuckin homeless people off while you're at it

Blow Me
Blow Me

What a bunch of butt fuckin mother fuckers, I mean who do they dick lickers think they are, fuckin bitchass dildos

Yaysonwayson
Yaysonwayson

The last paragraph ilustrates barts' total cluelessness. They actually still think, after all that's happened, that this was a choice between shutting down public communication networks or arresting anyone who might protest at a future time. They're either complete fascists or complete morons.

Alvarez Fernando
Alvarez Fernando

Yeah, that makes total sense. It's an emergency, so let's make sure you can't contact family members.

sarahx
sarahx

Yes, let's cut service when your riders need it most. Brilliant move, BART. 

Doitright
Doitright

OMG- They just don't get it, as a mother, grandmother, sister and friend, I would be absolutely bereft, if I could not reach my family and friends who ride Bart at a times of hysteria.That is the wrong answer, do over please

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