August 13, 2011
Yesterday's action where the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Area Rapid System took the step of interrupting or blocking cell phone service has increased from the first blog post on this, the one in this space, charging that BART's act was not legal, to a much Twitter-tweeted matter where BART's action was consistently said not to be legal.
While BART charges that the action was legal, but has not given concrete evidence to support the claim as of this writing (and this blogger has called BART), a look at recent Federal Communications Commission (FCC) actions shows that BART's response to the feared protest was not illegal, and given FCC patterns, open to investigation.
According to sources, BART's complaint about what this blogger installed rests on the idea that it did not use a cell phone jamming device, but simply turned off the cell phone antenna system serving certain San Francisco BART stations.
That was not my point.
My point is that, according to a number of online sources, BART's attempt to interrupt cell phone service is not legal, not that the method that was used was illegal. The FCC is not concerned with method, so much as intent and result of an action like the one BART took.
For example, Ibtimes reports that on February 26, 2011 in Silver Springs, Maryland:
The FCC is investigating the possibility that a Verizon service blackout prevented subscribers from connecting 911 calls and reaching the local fire department. The inability to complete the calls may have resulted in the destruction of Maryland woman's house...Many residents of Maryland's Montgomery and Price George's counties experienced similar disruptions of service, and the FCC is attempting to figure out the cause.Verizon did not respond to inquiries by the police in the area. But what this proves is the Federal Communications Commission does not give a pass to an organization responsible for a cell phone outage because it's a carrier, or because the organization didn't use a cell phone jamming system to interrupt service.
Continue reading at: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/abraham/detail?entry_id=95315
Hackers target San Francisco's rapid transit system
By the CNN Wire Staff
August 14, 2011
(CNN) -- Members of a well-known hacking group -- according to a statement and Twitter messages -- took credit Sunday for an online attack targeting San Francisco's embattled transit system.
Anonymous -- in a news release attributed to the group, and backed up by related Twitter pages -- said it would take down the website of the Bay Area Rapid Transit System, known as BART, between noon and 6 p.m. PT Sunday. This is in response to the system's decision to cut off cellphone signals at "select" subway stations in response to a planned protest last week.
"By (cutting cell service), you have not only threatened your citizens' safety, you have also performed an act of censorship," a seemingly computer-generated voice -- speaking over dramatic music and images -- said in a video posted online Sunday afternoon. "By doing this, you have angered Anonymous."
On Sunday afternoon, a link off BART's website to myBART.org apparently had been hacked. It showed a page featuring, among other items, the Anonymous logo -- a smirking mask above two crossed swords, all on a black background.
In addition, Twitter traffic related to Anonymous boasted that hackers had been able to get into BART's internal network. Several related items and documents were posted, including one claiming to be "the User Info Database of MyBart.gov." This had e-mails and, in some cases, phone numbers of hundreds of people.
"We apologize to any citizen that has his information published, but you should go to BART and ask them why your information wasn't secure with them," the posted item said. "Also do not worry, probably the only information that will be abused from this database is that of BART employees."
Continue reading at: http://www.cnn.com/2011/US/08/14/california.transit.hack/index.html?hpt=hp_t2