Law Enforcement Considers Blocking Cell Service During NATO Protests
Reports suggest local law enforcement agencies are considering shutting down cell phone services in the city over the weekend and while it will most likely be very effective, many are questioning if the move is legitimate.
The Daily Beast reports that the FBI and Secret Service have standing authority to jam signals and they can also push for the shutdown of cell towers, thanks to “Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) 303,” which lays out the nation’s official “Emergency Wireless Protocols.”
According to the National Communications System, the protocol details a “shutdown and restoration process for use by commercial and private wireless networks during national crises.”
The irony of the situation is, of course, in the fact that the US security services are considering doing something they’ve condemned others for. Just a month ago, President Barack Obama announced a plan to penalize authoritarian regimes that block internet access for protesters. The penalties will be aimed at countries like Syria and Iran that use technology to enable human-rights abuses against dissidents – but to many, this is a perfect example of double standards.
This potential development is just one of the drastic security measures Chicago law enforcement agencies are considering. They’ve also invested as much as $1 million on riot-control equipment, including at least one long-range acoustic device, or LRAD, and upgrades to shields to be worn by the police.
All they demand is the right to be heard.
Your police tactics are only making things worse.