Posts Tagged ‘fcc’

“CTIA -The Wireless Association” Explains Why Its Suing Us Over Gavin Newsom’s “Cell Phone Right-to-Know” Ordinance

Wednesday, October 5th, 2011

Well, after saying it was going to do so, the cell phone industry is actually suing us.

All the deets are below.

The friendly face of the Cellular Telephone Industries Association, aka CITA, The Wireless Association. This fellow has a big beef with our little town.

CITA Vice President of Public Affairs John Walls

“CTIA-The Wireless Association® Files Challenge to San Francisco’s “Cell Phone Right-to-Know” Ordinance

WASHINGTON, Oct. 4, 2011 – Today, CTIA-The Wireless Association® asked a federal court to block the enforcement of San Francisco’s “Cell Phone Right-to-Know” ordinance. CTIA’s challenge argues that the Ordinance is barred under the First Amendment and conflicts with federal law governing the safety of wireless devices.

As CTIA explains in its motion, the Ordinance requires retailers to distribute misleading statements and graphics that send the false message that cell phones approved by the FCC are not safe. In fact, the FCC limits radiofrequency emissions from cell phones to ensure that phones sold in the U.S. emit RF energy far below levels shown in scientific testing to have any adverse health effects. The FCC’s standard includes a wide margin of safety for all users. Last year the FDA categorically concluded that there is “No Evidence Linking Cell Phone Use to Risk of Brain Tumors,” and earlier this year the Chairman of the FCC, Julius Genachowski, said that he was “confident that [the FCC's] standards are protecting the health of people.”

CTIA-The Wireless Association Vice President of Public Affairs John Walls released the following statement:

“The materials the City would require be posted and handed out at retail stores are both alarmist and false. The FCC and FDA have repeatedly found that cell phone use does not pose a danger to human health. The Ordinance recommends such things as turning the phone off when not in use, a suggestion that would render critical emergency communications unavailable to San Francisco residents.”

More deets after the jump

(more…)

BARTtv is Back on the Air: Explaining Why BART Detained Journalists Yesterday – No Linton Johnson, No Comments Allowed

Friday, September 9th, 2011

Well here’s BART’s version of the story of last night’s events at Powell Station.

IMO, the MSM on hand weren’t too satisfied with what they were hearing, but listen for yourself:

The nugget’s at 4:30 or so where some woman starts off with, “Actually…”

Normally, you can comment on YouTube videos, but not this particular one, for some reason.

All right, OpBART V – A New Beginning, is the next protest against BART’s shooting and 1st Amendment policies. It’s coming at 5:00 PM on Monday, September 12th, 2011

Geez, How Many Bay Area TV Reporters Have Recently Sold Out to Work for BART’s Orwellian BARTtv News? Four, At Least

Wednesday, September 7th, 2011

Yes BART, The Sun Always Shines on TV*, certainly.

But why are you the most TV-obsessed transit agency in the world?

Why have you hired a litany of Kent Brockmans and Cookie Kwans* to make real-looking fake TV bits?

Is there some kind of military-industrial complex where every television “transportation reporter” in the Bay Area ends up doing gigs for BART to fool viewers into thinking that they’re watching the news?

Is this why the televised MSM lets BART get away with all the stuff BART gets away with?

I doubt any of these sell-outs still works at the stations what made them famous (I assume, as my govmint digital converter box died last year so all I can get on my 20-year old Sony is snow), but they were on the air in the Bay Area fairly recently. Here’s the partial tally – this is what I’ve noticed in the BARTtv collection from just the past six months.

The “BART-TV News” news team:

Lisa Bernard San Francisco Bay Area | Broadcast Media - Reporter at KNTV

Mark Jones of Bubb Rubb and L’il Sis fame - KRON4. This report is particularly egregious. Perhaps the BART Police’s informant was fed bad information on purpose in this instance? Remember, that was the allegation at the time. You know, from the Uhuru group. And then, per BART, after all those “groups” did all that planning, the “sneak attack” “fizzled.” Or maybe there was no sneak attack, BART? I don’t buy BART’s narrative, personally, but you are free to swallow whatever the fuck BART spoon feeds you, certainly, hook, line and sinker:

Jeffrey Schaub, KGO Radio, CBS5

And of course, Linton Johnson, who used to be a weekend anchor at KNTV San Jose. Start at about 9:45 to hear him defend his egregious misstatement of law from last month (about BART’s duty to balance the public’s constitutional Right to Safety against the 1st Amendment.) Then he goes, “I am a journalist.” (And I thought he was just a PR hack who costs BART $170+K per year.)

BART, you’re a god-damn embarrassment, that’s what I’m saying.

*Love that opening. Also, still loving Blue Skies after all these years, so imprinted am I.

**Member, AAJA

The First Draft of BART’s Cell Phone Shut Off Policy Looks Like Bullcrap to Me, But You Make The Call

Wednesday, September 7th, 2011

[UPDATE: IndyBay has a lengthy report from Friday's meeting of the toothless Citizen Review Panel. And here's some more.]

Here it is, AFAIK:

Click to expand

If this version of BART’s Proposed Call Service Interruption Policy were put into action as-is, it would mean that BART could do whatever it wanted to, whenever it wanted to. 

So, what’s the point in having a policy that says this?

And hey, whatever happened to BARTtv? Seems as if it’s “off the air” these days. How many former Bay Area newsmens has BART hired lately, cause I see three of them on Orwellian “BARTtv news” from this year alone.

Should BART be broadcasting video clips designed to confuse the viewer over what’s news and what’s BART propganda?

Should BART have a former TV newsman making policy?

Should BART have been wasting its time FaceBooking with Commuters Take Back BART?

Should BART have solicited employees to come up with ideas both “constitutional and unconstitutional” to combat BART shooting protesters?

Oh well.

All the Deets of Thursday’s “Spare the Fare” BART Shooting Protest at Powell Station – Flyer with Nice Bullet Icon

Monday, September 5th, 2011

Photographer Steve Rhodes is Everywhere You Want To Be.

See?

Click to expand

(Keep in mind that any protest on BART property is “illegal” without a permit.)

I seriously doubt the No Justice No BART will be able to get you home without BART “profiting” from the transaction on September 8th, 2011, but anything’s possible, I s’pose…

BART Police Shooting Protest Today at 4:30 PM, OpBART IV-A New Hope at 5:00 PM – Plus a “Mass Action” on September 8th

Monday, September 5th, 2011

Well, there’s no news yet from poorly-run BART, but read below for the latest from No Justice No BART, which is taking pains to point out that it’s not Anonymous.

So, look for something or other going on today and Thursday at the “downtown” stations in the 415 during the evening drive.

(BART, do you want me to lay out for you how your 1st Amendment policies are FUBARed beyond all recognition? How they’re arbitrary and overbroad and whatnot and how the 1st Amendment, IRL, need not be balanced against the so-called “constitutional Right to Safety?” Cause, you know, I could do it for you, no prob.)

Anyway, people still be coming back from The Playa and of course today is Labor Day, but, no matter, OpBART-4, A New Hope is ON. And learn about what No Justice No BART is up to today, below.

PRESS ADVISORY

Contacts:
Callie Maidhof 
Cat Brooks

Who: No Justice No BART and allied community groups
What: Press Conference and announcement of our next BART demonstration
Time: 4:30 PM, Monday September 5th
Place: Civic Center Station, inside the station but outside the fare gates

Monday September 5th, No Justice No BART will be hosting a
press conference at 4:30 PM inside Civic Center BART station. Along
with several other community groups, we are planning a mass action on
Thursday, September 8th, at the Powell BART station, to demand Justice
for Charles Hill, who was needlessly gunned down by BART police. We
will demand that the violent, corrupt, and dangerous BART police force
be disbanded.

The press conference will include the release of more detailed
information about the upcoming action. This action will likely differ
from previous No Justice No BART actions in the following ways:

* Our intention is to protest outside the Powell station fare gates,
but we will not block emergency exits to and from the station.
* IF our demonstration is successful, passengers will RIDE BART FOR
FREE from Powell. We are calling this a SPARE THE FARE day.
* IF BART Police and Administrators attack or interfere with our
protest, we move into BART and onto the platforms, which may cause
disruption for passengers.
* We are making our strategy public so that people know what to expect
and so that BART administrators know that THEY will be held
accountable for all disruptions caused by the actions of their police.

Background:

No Justice No BART is a campaign of protests targeting the BART
transit agency. We formed 3 years ago in the wake of the BART police
murder of Oscar Grant and have been fighting since… for justice for
Oscar Grant, Fred Collins, Charles Hill, and all victims of BART
police violence and murder. Our core demand is that BART disband its
murderous, inept, corrupt police department.

On July 11th, No Justice No BART called a protest on the Civic Center
station platform to respond to the BART police killing of Charles
Hill. BART to shut down all 4 downtown stations and the disruption to
the evening commute impacted thousands of commuters. This
demonstration prompted BART to release the video of the shooting weeks
ahead of schedule.

On August 11th, fearing another protest by No Justice No BART, BART
shut down its cellular service to prevent protesters from
communicating with one another. This draconian and illegal decision
prompted a strong and negative reaction from people around the world,
from organizations such as the ACLU and EFF, and civil disobedience on
the streets and the internet organized by the shadowy “Anonymous”.
For the past 3 weeks, community groups have refrained from taking
organizing roles in demonstrations against BART, and instead our
members have watched or participated as individuals in the weekly
(Monday) actions called by Anonymous. On Thursday we will step off
the sidelines.

[No Justice No BART is not affiliated with Anonymous, and none of our
actions have been been coordinated by Anonymous.]“

I Can Assure You, BART, The Answers to Your Myriad of Problems Won’t Be Found on This Website

Monday, August 29th, 2011

Turns out that BART.GOV and those BART employees as a group are this website’s number one source of readers these days.

Hurray!

Domain Name bart.gov ? (U.S. Government)
IP Address 148.165.17.#(Bay Area Rapid Transit District (BART))
ISP Bay Area Rapid Transit District (BART)
Location
Continent  : North America
Country  : United States  (Facts)
State  : California
City  : Oakland
Lat/Long  : 37.795, -122.2193 (Map)
Language English (U.S.)
en-us
Operating System Microsoft WinXP
Browser Internet Explorer 7.0
Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 7.0; Windows NT 5.1; Trident/4.0; GTB7.1; .NET CLR 1.1.4322; InfoPath.2)
Javascript version 1.3
Monitor
Resolution  :  1280 x 960
Color Depth  :  32 bits
Time of Visit   Aug 29 2011 10:01:59 am
Referring URL
Visit Entry Page http://sfcitizen.com…-now-on-the-kqed-fm/
Visit Exit Page http://sfcitizen.com…-now-on-the-kqed-fm/
Out Click  
Time Zone UTC-8:00
Visitor’s Time Aug 29 2011 10:11:59 am
Visit Number 12,498,593

(What’s that, BART? You look at the world through old-school, square, 1280×960 monitors? Like this? Uh, the 1990′s just called, BART – it wants its PC monitors back.)

Do you think I’m just another frivolous mofo, BART? I don’t. Please keep your eyes on the prize, which are terrorists, like real terrorists, like Madrid-style. So, regardless of policy, if you turn off cell phone service to prevent IEDs or bombs or whathaveyou from exploding, then nobody will mind.

(And since we’re at it, if everybody on the BART Police is a member of the S.W.A.T. team (and it sure seems that way, since that’s how you “pay” people, instead of offering a competitive starting salary), then nobody on the BART Police is a member of the S.W.A.T. team. Think about that one…)

And we’re still waiting for an apology, BART. Otherwise it looks like you think you deserve an A+ for your horrible Summer of 2011.

Oh Noes! Militant Pro-BART, Pro-Gay, Anti-Anonymous Faction to Arrive at Next BART Shooting Protest, OpBART 3

Friday, August 26th, 2011

[UPDATE IV, Jason Lives: I guess we have closure now, excepting for Monday morning's FORUM from Michael Krasny on the KQED-FM. Leave us downgrade this Cat 5 contretemps all the way to unnamed tropical depression:

"FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

LGBT DISPUTE WITH ANONYMOUS TENTATIVELY SETTLED. COUNTER-DEMONSTRATION CANCELLED.

San Francisco, CA August 28, 2011
Monday’s counter-demonstration against Anonymous by members of the LGBT Community has been cancelled after Anonymous made assurances that they have no malice against LGBT people.

While many people speak for Anonymous we have been told the group was largely against the release of the Linton Johnson photos, and that they are not planning any similar tactics (sexual images) in the future.

Some community leaders, such as La Mesha Irizarry of the Idriss Stelley Foundation are skeptical but had grave safety concerns for demonstrators. “A counter protest pinning commuters against protesters is itself a dangerous, unstable mix” said Irizarry.

The LGBT group had planned to demonstrate alongside the “Commuters Take Back Bart” group, which is still planning to demonstrate.
Lead organizers will be at the Civic Center in the event community members who aren’t aware of the cancellation show up to demonstrate.

Contact:
Chris Andoe
[See Comments if you want the email address]

[UPDATE: I'm a little surprised that one irate person can get so much attention from the MSM before he's actually done anything. Linton Johnson's repeated, numerous, high-profile misstatements of law have ceased, for whatever reason [coughwhen you’re on camera all the time you’re not always going to say the best thing, cough], so I don’t think that he’s the focus of anything anymore. Here’s one recent manifesto from one person – note that it has nothing to do with LGBT whatever. Note that it has 3000 (or, in the parlance of the day, over 9000) views already. How many followers does organizer Chris Andoe have to organize? We’ll see.]

[UPDATE II, Electric Boogaloo: Oh, I see, it's Linton's friends and acquaintances behind this. Makes sense now. Fair enough.]

[UPDATE III, Tokyo Drift:

"This is ridiculous, whoever told the GLBT community that Anonymous released photos of Linton is a flat out liar. Linton released them himself, perhaps they should be protesting outside of Linton's house."]

Let’s see here, it looks like Anonymous will have have a little competition at the next OpBART, which is OpBART III: Tokyo Drift coming up on August 29th, 2011.

So, get ready for two new factions competing with Anonymous for attention:

1. Commuters Take Back BART (Heh.)

2.“Organizer” Chris Andoe’s Leaked Linton Johnson Photos Gay-Baiting Counter-Protest (Heh.)

Throw in the newly-energized SFPD and the BART Police and this one could end up just like that historic Battle of the Five Armies.

Comes now website-free, non-BART rider Chris Andoe (who?) to say:

“Long before becoming Bay Area Rapid Transit’s chief spokesperson, Linton Johnson worked as a television reporter in St. Louis. In the late 90’s he was regularly seen dancing shirtless, with much fanfare, at the Complex.”

All right, how does this help us? It tells us that self-proclaimed Constitutional scholar Linton Johnson was not boning up the law back then, and maybe you’re reflexively defending your friend from Flyover Country, but that’s about all that we can learn from that.

Here’s more, complete with an edited quote.

Oh, and here’s the full quote, where a BART dude apologizes for recent statements:

“Linton is doing a great job,” Franklin said. “When you’re on camera all the time you’re not always going to say the best thing. Linton is doing a great job and it’s a tough job. So the organization is going to stand behind Linton.”

I’ll just say this: It wasn’t a group of hackers what posted those photos, it was one dude (who actually didn’t need to do any hacking) who posted those photos.

Here’s another viewpoint:

“I think the purpose was to humiliate him. the guy is the public face of bart. don’t pull the homophobe card just because he’s happens to be gay and embarrassing pics were leaked.”

All right, let’s see how many people actually show up on Monday at 5:00 PM. (There will be loads of media there regardless…)

BART Boner ’11: Did BART Get Punked on August 11th? No Real Protest Planned? Plus, Concern from D.C.

Saturday, August 20th, 2011

UPDATE: KGO-TV is doing a good job with a live feed this afternoon, but it probably won’t be all that interesting after 6:00 PM PDT, August 22, 2011]

All right, let’s start with the Feds. In addition to the ongoing Federal Communication Commission’s probe into BART’s unprecedented actions on August 11th, 2011, we now have beloved* Congresswoman Jackie Speier** getting into the act.

See?

BART is learning a lesson that requires closer examination,” said Speier, who represents part of San Francisco and San Mateo County. “I believe BART needs to work harder to understand the ever-changing relationship between security and liberty. And to this end, we should replace finger-pointing with constructive dialogue that addresses security measures that go too far.”

Helloooo, BART? This isn’t a pat on the back, you know?

We’re not in Tahrir anymore, are we?

Via Artificial Eyes/exiledsurfer

Indeed, you now have a local Congresswoman, into addition bunches of other people, “bitching and complaining” about BART turning off its cell phone repeaters on August 11th.

Oh my, we’re getting close to obscene gerund territory, right? Well, let’s get the exact quote then:

“[BART's $170k per year spokesmodel Linton] Johnson’s exact words, as reported by the Bay Citizen, were: “It is an amenity. We survived for years without cellphone service … Now they’re bitching and complaining that we turned it off for three hours?” 

So I guess the B-word is in the BART communications plan now? O.K. fine.

Moving on…

Hey, was that whole inchoate protest thing on August 11th just a test to see who’s an informant for the BART Police?

[Well, I had something here that was pretty much the whole point of this post - it had support for the idea that there was no protest planned. But I no longer have anything to link to. So oh well... :(]

Well, that’s plausible.

Via Artificial Eyes/exiledsurfer – click to expand

And here’s BART’s CYA letter from this AM, you know, for the record. It sounds quite different from Linton Johnson’s laughable misquotations of the law, exaggerations, spin, tall tales, whatever you want to call what we’ve been getting the past ten days. So that’s refreshing.

(Now when did the term “passengers” become “customers?” Does it sound better to say, “One of our poorly-trained ‘newbie’ officers once again just shot and killed yet another ‘customer’ unnecessarily,” as opposed to, you know, ‘passenger?’ I don’t know.)

Oh, and I should note the screed below has been signed by merely $160-per-hour, BART Lawyer*** for Life / “Interim Manager” Sherwood Glen Wakeman and supercracker / BART Director Bob Franklin (you know, the guy what represents the rich, lily-white Piedmont, Berkeley hills, and Oakland hills areas, among others.

(Of course, the following would be a stronger message if it had signatures of any of the other eight directors on it, but who knows how all those people feel…)

Anyway, die Postkarte vom Das Führerbunker:

“08.20.2011

A letter from BART to our customers

Dear Customers,

BART’s top priority is to ensure the safety of its passengers. Prior to a planned protest on August 11, 2011, BART obtained credible information that led us to conclude that the safety of the BART system would be compromised. Out of an overriding concern for our passengers’ safety, BART made the decision to temporarily interrupt cell phone service on portions of its system. We are aware that the interruption had the effect of temporarily preventing cellular communications for many BART passengers and their families; and we regret any inconvenience caused by the interruption. We want to take this opportunity to share some of the information that led to this decision.

Imminent Threat of Unlawful and Dangerous Activities on BART Platforms

July 11 Protest
On July 11, a group gathered at the BART Civic Center Station in San Francisco to protest the fact that, on July 3, a BART Police Officer shot and killed Charles Hill at that station.

During that protest, one person climbed on top of a train and many other individuals blocked train doorways and held train doors open. During the course of the event, which occurred during the peak of rush hour, individuals used BART trains to move between stations, and caused the shutdown or partial shutdown of other stations.

These actions violated the law by creating a serious threat to the safe operation of the BART system, disrupting the service of 96 BART trains (approximately two-thirds of the trains operating during the rush hour), causing the closing of stations, and putting at risk the safety of thousands of passengers and BART employees.

When trains are not able to move or pick up passengers, the platforms can quickly become overcrowded. This is very dangerous due to the increased possibility that people will fall from the platforms onto the trackway. The trackway is five feet below the platform edge and contains the electrified 3rd rail.

Also, when one train stops, all trains behind it must stop. In some cases, trains must stop in tunnels, which delays the arrival of emergency medical help for passengers in need of assistance. Additionally, self-evacuation by passengers in underground tunnels is another potential dangerous outcome of interference with BART service.

Planned August 11 Protest
Early in the week of August 8, the BART Police Department received credible information that individuals were planning a surprise demonstration against BART police shootings at specific BART station platforms on August 11. On August 10, BART Police obtained further information regarding the individuals’ plans for color-coded teams to conduct lawless activity on the platforms. The additional information disclosed detailed organizational coordination among multiple “affinity groups” in addition to the organization that had sponsored the July 11 disruption.

The August 10 intelligence revealed that the individuals would be giving and receiving instructions to coordinate their activities via cell phone after their arrival on the train platforms at more than one station. Individuals were instructed to text the location of police officers so that the organizers would be aware of officer locations and response times. The overall information about the planned protest led BART to conclude that the planned action constituted a serious and imminent threat to the safety of BART passengers and personnel and the safe operation of the BART system, at a level that could far exceed the protest of July 11.

Based on that assessment, BART decided to interrupt cell phone service at targeted portions of its system for up to 4 hours, beginning at 4:00 p.m., the time that the individuals were scheduled to assemble. BART notified the affected cellular service providers shortly before it implemented the temporary interruption. Service was turned back on at 7 p.m., earlier than planned, when safety concerns abated.

At the affected portions of the BART system, there was no cellular service on the platform level, and service on the concourse level was also affected in some areas. Cellular service was fully available at the street level and at all above-ground BART stations and trackways.

BART took prudent measures to protect passengers during the time that cell phone service was unavailable. More than 120 extra BART uniformed Police Officers and Operations personnel carrying radios and wearing reflective vests were assigned to be in the four downtown San Francisco stations and on trains traveling between those stations. Additionally, passenger courtesy phones on the platform were available to provide direct communication with Station Agents. BART also has intercoms at each end of each train car, allowing passengers to contact the operator for assistance. No passenger emergencies were reported to BART during the period of the cellular service interruption.

First Amendment Issues
For more than 25 years, BART has had a policy regarding the exercise of First Amendment free speech rights in areas of its stations where it can be done safely and without interference with BART’s primary mission of providing safe, efficient and reliable public transportation services. To implement this policy, BART has designated the areas of its stations that are accessible to the general public without the purchase of tickets as unpaid areas that are open for expressive activity upon issuance of a permit subject to BART’s rules. To protect public safety and provide safe and efficient public transportation, BART has restricted access to the “Paid” and “Platform” areas of its stations to BART station employees and ticketed passengers who are boarding, exiting or waiting for BART trains.

BART’s temporary interruption of cell phone service was not intended to and did not affect any First Amendment rights of any person to protest in a lawful manner in areas at BART stations that are open for expressive activity. The interruption did prevent the planned coordination of illegal activity on the BART platforms, and the resulting threat to public safety.

BART’s Future Plans
At a special Board meeting on Wednesday, the Board will discuss the temporary interruption of cell service on portions of the BART system that occurred on August 11, and we invite the public to participate in this discussion.

Thank for your patience and we value your continued support.

Bob Franklin, BART Board of Directors President
Sherwood Wakeman, Interim General Manager”

All right, see you on Monday!

*She had a bet with her husband that she would get less than 80% of the vote (he was confident that she would get 80-something(!) percent) what ascended her to Congress for the rest of her life. She only got 79% of that vote, IIRC, so she won twice in one day.

**You know, the elected official that former KNTV weekend news anchor Linton Johnson didn’t give money to when he was working for that NBC affiliate. Was that against station policy? You Make The Call.

*** Currently inactive, BTW.

BART Boner ’11: Wow, BART Manager (and Former News Man) Linton Johnson Stars in New Taiwanese News Video

Thursday, August 18th, 2011

ZOMG, here’s a much better-than-average animated news video from NMA-TV.

This one has it all, even the purported* “French girl” hacker virgin what SF Weekly IM’ed with the other day.

And look to see who makes policy for BART in the video. (Why do we even bother electing BART directors if they don’t do anything about anything?)

Click to expand

Enjoy:

*Honestly, I don’t think the BART POA hacker(s) was/were a hacker virgin living in France, IRL anyway…