The White House has refused to release information about a secret policy that permits the Department of Homeland Security to unilaterally shut down private cellphone service in the event of a national crisis.
Enacted almost ten years ago without public notice or debate, Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) 303, often referred to as the cellphone kill switch, has been shrouded in secrecy from its inception and has been targeted by civil liberties groups looking to make the policy public.
Harold Feld, the senior vice president of Public Knowledge, a public interest advocacy group, told Al Jazeera America.
In 2012, the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) filed suit in federal court seeking disclosure of information about SOP 303’s basic guidelines and policy procedures.
After a lower court ordered the policy be made public, the DOH successfully argued on appeal that releasing any information about SOP 303 would risk public safety. Last month, however, EPIC’s petition for a rehearing of that appellate court decision was allowed to proceed.
A hearing in that case is set for this week.
Read more: http://sputniknews.com/us/20150427/1021452090.html