(INTELLIHUB) — The Department of Homeland Security’s plan to shut off cell phone service across large swaths of the country in the event of a major disaster or civil emergency will remain secret after the Supreme Court “set aside” a petition that demanded the Orwellian plan be released to the public.
The petition from by the Electronic Privacy Information Center came after a federal appeals court ruled that homeland security could keep the plan secret from the American people. Sadly, the Supreme Court apparently agreed, refusing to even comment on the extremely important issue.
“The top court, without comment, refused Monday to review a federal appeals court’s May ruling that the DHS did not have to divulge the full contents of Standard Operating Procedure 303. That court held that the government could withhold the plan’s contents under the Freedom of Information Act if its disclosure would “endanger” public safety,” reproted Ars Technica.
The Supreme Court’s claim that revealing the plan would “endanger” public safety is completely laughable, especially when you consider the documented fact that DHS has used the cell phone “kill switch” to quell a political protest.
That’s right, this technology is not actually being used after a major “disaster” but rather it is being used to stop the American people from organizing and protesting any number of issues, with the 2011 San Francisco Bay Area subway system shutdown just being the major example that we know of. DHS could effectively choose to use this technology for any number of reasons, all of which would hurt the American peoples ability to speak out and protest their government.
While SOP 303 does indicate that in some cases the kill switch may only be used in one specific area, it also clearly allows DHS to shut off mobile service for an entire city.
“Under the direction of the so-called National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee, SOP 303 allows for the shutting down of wireless networks “within a localized area, such as a tunnel or bridge, and within an entire metropolitan area.”
In regards to how the technology specifically works, Mac Salvo noted, “Like other non-lethal weapons brought on the scene of post-9/11 crowd control situations, DHS’ kill switch features the patent ability to dial down to a specific location, or broaden the cellular interruption devices to a city-wide area.”
“These are enormous powers that will be used during crises of all types – and already it poses a danger to the civil rights that expressly protect the right to assemble, give redress of grievances and speak freely – including across cell phone signals.”
At this point it should be obvious that this secretive plan is being kept secret because the government does not want the American people to know that they have detailed and specific plans to shut down any sort of actual resistance to their power.