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Syria Has Banned iPhones to Curb Citizen Journalism and Now FCC Working On Kill Switch For US Cell Phones


Most footage of protests from Syria in recent months has clearly been filmed on smartphones. Not for much longer, though: the government just banned iPhones.
In an attempt to control how information leaves the country, officials now “warn anyone against using the iPhone in Syria”,reports the BBC . It’s also believed that this announcement will prohibit the import of iPhones into the country. Because most international media have been banned from reporting from Syria, there has been a huge rise in citizen journalism since the uprising began earlier this year. This iPhone ban is presumably an attempt to stymie citizen journalists, who have been filming protests on their handset and uploading footage to the internet for others to watch.More at Source
Following the decision from city officials in San Francisco to kill cell phone service at a moment’s notice throughout the Bay Area, the FCC is examining how a proposal of their own could implement similar measures across the US.
California residents outraged at ongoing acts of violence carried out in the hands of Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) officers in recent years displayed their disgust with a series of demonstrations earlier this year, which triggered city officials to throttle cell phone service in hopes of deterring angry riders from organizing protests. Despite a backlash of complaints from patrons and civil liberty advocates across the country, the BART system has officially implemented a legislation that allows them the ability to thwart service at their own discretion.
“The intent of this cell phone interruption policy is to balance free speech rights with legitimate public safety concerns,”BART Board President Bob Franklin tells reporters.
Along with the ongoing enforcement of the Patriot Act and Congress’ recent passing of the National Defense Authorization Act, this measure only accentuates what GOP candidate Newt Gingrich recently said was the country’s need to “try to find that balancing act between our individual liberties and security.”
According to the recent passing, BART can interrupt service of cellular networks during “extraordinary circumstances”when it determines that unlawful activity is imminent, private property is being destructed or any event which could disrupt transit service. The Federal Communications Commission gave them their blessing at the time but warned that “any interruption of cellular service poses serious risks to public safety and that available open communications networks are critical to our economy and democracy.” 
Now, however, the FCC is considering if changes should be made to national legislation that could allow for similar actions from coast-to-coast.
“The legal and policy issues raised by the type of wireless service interruption at issue here are significant and complex,” FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski writes in a press leased from their Washington DC office. “I have asked Commission staff to review these critical issues and consider the constraints that the Communications Act, First Amendment and other laws and policies place upon potential service interruptions.”

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