A court in Washington, D.C. has ordered The US Department of Homeland Security to reveal details on exactly how “Standard Operating Procedure 303” works. With this procedure Homeland Security is able to shut down wireless signals as well as cellular networks in an area, and is supposed to be used only when there is a crisis.
The reason why Homeland Security have this protocol in place is in the event that they need to shut down the ability of someone to use an explosive device which can be triggered through a radio signal.
The group who wants the procedure revealed to them is the Electronic Privacy Information Center, or EPIC, and they went to the courts because a previous document on Procedure 303 that was released to them via the Freedom of Information Act was practically illegible.
Homeland Security’s reasoning for not allowing this information out was a combination of not wanting to to disclose methods used by police, as well as believing it wasn’t necessary for the public to know.
Homeland Security now has 30 days to follow through on the court’s decision. They do have the option to appeal the ruling, but are not showing any signs yet of planning to.
[via CNET, Official Opinion Document]