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Sunday, 14 August 2011

San Francisco Transit Blocks Cellphones To Hinder Protest

SAN FRANCISCO -- A decision by San Francisco Bay Area transit officials to cut off cell phone service at some of its stations to thwart a planned protest drew angry response Saturday from one transit board member who said she was shocked that officials acted as "this type of censor."

Bay Area Rapid Transit officials have said they shut down power Thursday evening to cellular towers for stations stretching from downtown to the San Francisco's airport after learning protesters planned to use mobile devices to coordinate its demonstration.

"I'm just shocked that they didn't think about the implications of this. We really don't have the right to be this type of censor," said Lynette Sweet, who serves on BART board. "In my opinion, we've let the actions of a few people affect everybody. And that's not fair."

BART Deputy Police Chief Benson Fairow on Friday told KTVU-TV that the agency decided to turn off underground cell service because it received reports that a rowdy group that had protested in July had similar plans.

"It all boils down to the safety of the public," Fairow said. "It wasn't a decision made lightly. This wasn't about free speech. It was about safety."

READ MORE : http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/08/13/san-francisco-transit-cellphone-protest_n_926135.html?&ncid=edlinkusaolp00000009


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