January 13, 2016—The Electronic Privacy Information Center has struggled for years to pry away declassified information on Standard Operating Procedure 303, or the Emergency Wireless Protocols, from the Department of Homeland Security. Their Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests have been noble, but futile.
In the most recent episode on Monday, the Supreme Court gave no statement in its refusal to consider EPIC’s petition to uncover secret DHS documents detailing a kill switch for cell phones. That decision upheld a May federal appeals court finding that FOIAs did not apply to SOP 303 if DHS believed divulging it would “endanger” the public.
Ars Technica reports that the appeals court described SOP 303 as a “unified voluntary process for the orderly shut-down and restoration of wireless services during critical emergencies such as the threat of radio-activated improvised explosive devices.”
How do you think Americans would respond if wireless signals for cell phones were cut by the government in an emergency? Comment below!