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Bill would bar cellphone jamming by Calif. agencies

3:49 PM, Aug 9, 2012   |    comments
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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - Government agencies would be barred from disrupting cellphone service ahead of expected protests if a bill approved by the California Legislature becomes law. 

The Assembly unanimously approved SB 1160 Sen. Alex Padilla, D-Los Angeles on Thursday. 

It would prevent any agency from disrupting cellphone service without first establishing probable cause and obtaining a court order. 

Padilla says such a law is needed to protect public safety and basic freedoms. 

Officials with the Bay Area Rapid Transit system ignited a global debate over free speech last year when the agency cut cellphone and wireless data service in San Francisco subway stations to disrupt a planned protest. 

Assemblymembers condemned that decision on Thursday. 

The bill now goes back to the Senate for final approval.

The Associated Press

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