Will someone write an LPSF.org post on the BART shutdown of cell phone service?

I was reading about the unprecedented Mubarak-style shutdown of cell phone service by BART during a recent protest.


That they're trying to claim that there's a "Constitutional right to safety" is amazing. I think this is a prime opportunity for LPSF to do some education. Letters to the Editor, as well as posts to LPSF.org would seem to make sense to me. Is anyone local to SF willing to do it?



Hi Rob,

I was just mulling about this. Shutting off cell phone access was oh so dumb... just asking for trouble. But in my personal opinion the reaction was equally stupid. When I want to get home, I want to get home. When someone publicizes my e-mail addresses etc, I am going to assume a lot of folks are profiting monetary-wise from that disclosure. I would welcome any postings on lpsf.org that deals with the dumb BART action, but I will post a counter article if I see a posting supporting the "protesters". Clockwork Orange behavior has already consumed socialist Britain. I feel strongly about this behavior interfering with my coming and going.


What I find even more amazing is that "protesters", to use the term loosely,
thought that Bart's actions were a justification for violating the rights of all
the people who had paid to use Bart and were prohibited from doing so. Their,
that is, the protesters', actions seem arrogant and selfish to me.

But also, equating Bart's limited (in time and space) shut down of cell service
with Mubarak's shutdown in Eqypt seems farfetched and overblown. These people
were surely just looking for an excuse to riot and Bart gave it to them. Bart
owns the premises, do they not? Why is it a violation of anyone's rights if Bart
closes cell service on their own property?


Shutting cell phone use on one's own property was the subject of some guy on NPR today (I listen while I work, so most of the time I have no clue as to who said what I am trying to quote). The speaker was maintaining that BART had a "right" to shut down communications on its property. Does that conflict with FCC proscription against willful interference of communications channels? Who knows? Is it a libertarian issue? What, for BART to cut off cell phone communications, or for "protesters" to prevent hundreds of folks from picking up their kids from daycare on time? Certainly this is not a right to "peacefully assemble" when passengers are prevented from reaching their destination peacefully.

However, "protesters" aside, Rob is correct that LPSF should take a stand on the issue of BART cutting off cell phone communication. My personal stance would be that precedent (theaters and other venues where folks should keep their cell phones quiet but don't) allowed BART to act as they did; but they should have known that the backlash would be not to their liking. Is that what this group wants to hear?


BTW, Rob, I personally would have no problem with guest postings on the LPSF website. The fact that you are now a New York Libertarian, in my opinion, does not preclude you or other guests from expressing their opinions. Maybe LPSF could accept posting requests arising from the LPSF email lists. Such open forum could result in more new articles and some responses.


Isn't BART publically owned??? It is surely funded largely by tax money.

It's a dot GOV website… http://www.bart.gov/

Private property issues don't apply IMHO.


So??? why do the protesters have the right to prevent everyone else from using
public property paid for with our tax dollars? Do the protesters own this
property such that they can prevent others from using it?

Just addressing the "private property" issue….I trust this is now off the table.


  Good call. I've posted several comments about this affair on various
articles on the Chronicle website. Here are the most relevant of those
comments, which I'll try to distill into a unified LPSF posting, along
with something specifically referencing the suppression of
communications by regimes during the Arab Spring uprising.

Love & Liberty,
                                       ((( starchild )))