SF-BART PD shut down cell service to prevent disruption to transportation.

This is a discussion on SF-BART PD shut down cell service to prevent disruption to transportation. within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; Originally Posted by Tzadik Does BART offer cell phone service, or is it a contract between you and your telecommunications service? Are they turning off ...

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Thread: SF-BART PD shut down cell service to prevent disruption to transportation.

  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tzadik View Post
    Does BART offer cell phone service, or is it a contract between you and your telecommunications service?

    Are they turning off boosters to the signal, which would be a service they provide, or are they activly jamming the signal?

    If the latter I would suggest that they are in violation of FCC regulations and federal law.
    Someone who is actually a lawyer please comment on this as I'm talking out my ass here.
    My understanding is that the phone repeaters in the tunnels belong to BART.

    It seems logical that BART can turn them on and off at will.

    Matt
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  3. #17
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    I think they are OK in doing so as long as the can show that cell service interrupts the safe operations of their trains. The airlines have been doing it for years.

    If the repeaters belong to BART, then its a non issue.
    "Just blame Sixto"

  4. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by azchevy View Post
    This is a clear violation of FCC rules.... something nobody will care to enforce. Of course unless it was some private citizen doing it.
    If the phone repeaters belong to BART, and all they did was turn them off, I don't see any potential violation here.
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  5. #19
    Senior Member Array canav844's Avatar
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    And as I mentioned, now their actions being made public are just making things more difficult.

    3 platforms have been shut down during rush hour as actual protests have started, from the sanctions taken against fictional middle of the night protests.

    Protestors Cause BART Station Shutdown
    3 BART stations shut down amid San Francisco protest - latimes.com

    And with these protests, the cell coverage remained intact and BART is explaining it's actions from last week to the FCC

    http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lano...-protests.html

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  6. #20
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    I read this on the BART Wikipedia page @ Bay Area Rapid Transit - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Recent history

    In May 2004, BART became the first transit system in the United States to offer cellular telephone communication to passengers of all wireless carriers on its trains underground. This is in contrast to other systems in United States, which only provide for customers of some of the major cell phone carriers.
    But...who provides funding for BART? Aside form the funds collected through fares, as recently as 2005 BART collected 300 million from the state 'coffers.'

    When they shut down a service, that sounds like the people aren't getting what they paid for. Can people get a refund??
    "Historical examination of the right to bear arms, from English antecedents to the drafting of the Second Amendment, bears proof that the right to bear arms has consistently been, and should still be, construed as an individual right." -- U.S. District Judge Sam Cummings, Re: U.S. vs Emerson (1999)

  7. #21
    Senior Member Array canav844's Avatar
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    Here's an update from the AP, mostly about the hacker attacks retaliating after the protests hit the mainstream news; but it offers more insight to the initial actions of cutting the power
    BART's action is widely believed to be the first time a U.S. governmental agency cut wireless communication to quell a protest.


    BART chief spokesman Linton Johnson said Tuesday it was his idea to cut the power, and the tactic was vetted by police and approved by the agency's general manager, who previously served as BART's top attorney.


    Johnson defended the tactic as legal and appropriate to ensure a safe commute.


    The planned protest never materialized Thursday and all trains were on time that night.


    The Federal Communications Commission is looking into BART's action while the FBI is investigating the hack of mybart.org last week.

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  8. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by canav844 View Post
    S.F. subway muzzles cell service during protest | InSecurity Complex - CNET News

    Remember Minority Report? With the pre-cogs and they sometime got it wrong. This story reminds me of that. They didn't even wait for something to happen. You can have you cell service after the riots start in the UK or "repressed" Egypt, but in "free" America BART can shut down your ability to speak to others because they don't like what you might say.
    Why does BART or anyone else have the ''responsibility" of making sure that there is any access? It is just another "entitlement" that costs everyone more somewhere along the line.
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  9. #23
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    Indeed. Last I checked, no one had a "right" to uninterrupted cell phone coverage everywhere in the world...
    gasmitty likes this.
    A man fires a rifle for many years, and he goes to war. And afterward he turns the rifle in at the armory, and he believes he's finished with the rifle. But no matter what else he might do with his hands - love a woman, build a house, change his son's diaper - his hands remember the rifle.

  10. #24
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    It's a 1st amendment thing. No, they are not entitled to it, but the government interrupting communication is still bad juju.
    "and suddenly I can not hold back my sword hand's anger"

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    Quote Originally Posted by ArkhmAsylm View Post
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    I read this on the BART Wikipedia page @ [URL="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BART"]the people aren't getting what they paid for. Can people get a refund??
    Your ticket entitles you to transport from A to B. If they dumped you off on the tracks, you'd have a valid argument. Cell service is not a part of the deal.
    The airlines got $15 billion after 9/11. And the FAA receives full funding.
    But you still can't use a cell phone on a plane. (Thankfully.)


    Quote Originally Posted by Daddy Warcrimes View Post
    It's a 1st amendment thing.
    To some, everything is a first amendment thing.
    Nowhere does it say the government has to provide a platform for your free speech.


    During Nascar races, Sprint (main sponsor) jams cell service during the race. They want only Sprint users having service. Should I call congress and tell them about my first amendment rights?

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    If the "government" provided that ability to communicate, and they own the methods (antennae), then they have every right to turn them off for whatever reason they feel like. Is it inconvenient? Sure, I guess so. Is it a violation of the right to free speech? Of course not.
    A man fires a rifle for many years, and he goes to war. And afterward he turns the rifle in at the armory, and he believes he's finished with the rifle. But no matter what else he might do with his hands - love a woman, build a house, change his son's diaper - his hands remember the rifle.

  13. #27
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    I'm amused that people claiming "freedom of speech" issues with regard to cell phone leap to the assumption that the means of cell phone communication is somehow in the public domain. Yes, the FCC regulates the airwaves with bandwidth assignments and power limitations, but the transmitters, antennae and towers are all privately owned. The owners of that equipment and the users can turn it on and off at will. Inconvenient for the individual cell phone users, perhaps, but far from a denial of a Constitutional right.
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  14. #28
    Distinguished Member Array ArkhmAsylm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guns and more View Post
    Your ticket entitles you to transport from A to B. If they dumped you off on the tracks, you'd have a valid argument. Cell service is not a part of the deal.
    The airlines got $15 billion after 9/11. And the FAA receives full funding.
    But you still can't use a cell phone on a plane. (Thankfully.)
    But they've made cell service part of the deal, paid for by the users & tax payers.

    The question for me is, how reasonable is it for them to arbitrarily remove that paid-for service? Especially if their intent is to halt everyone's ability to communicate via the mobile airwaves because they wish to squelch one group's communications.
    "Historical examination of the right to bear arms, from English antecedents to the drafting of the Second Amendment, bears proof that the right to bear arms has consistently been, and should still be, construed as an individual right." -- U.S. District Judge Sam Cummings, Re: U.S. vs Emerson (1999)

  15. #29
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    It is a pretty grey area as BART being the owner of the repeaters does have the right to turn them off.

    This deliberate interruption of service is arguably a breach of contract if it is part of the service they provide.

    The real issue I suspect is that they set it up in this manner to begin with. What we have here is an area designated for public use that the government monopolizes. It would be more appropriate for them to rent space to cellular providers where they could install their own repeaters (not entirely unlike how we have a Burger King on just about every Army installation).

    By allowing the government to own the means of communication, likely to the exclusion of others, it becomes a 1st amendment issue. Unscheduled interruptions, outages for maintenance, or even neglecting to provide it at all would not be an infringement. When they are the service provider, the public has a reasonable expectation for that service to be working. When it is deliberately interrupted for the purpose of suppressing political speech, it is an infringement.
    "and suddenly I can not hold back my sword hand's anger"

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  16. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by ArkhmAsylm View Post
    But they've made cell service part of the deal,
    No. You pay to ride the train. Cell service is a perk.
    I once got a free meal on an airplane. Am I entitled to a free meal every time I fly, because "It's part of the deal"?

    how reasonable is it for them to arbitrarily remove that paid-for service?
    If I could ride and buy a ticket for $2, and you could ride, use your phone and paid $3, then you'd have an argument. However, you can't show where you paid extra for cell service.

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