Hastings Communications and Entertainment Law Journal


Candice Shin


From former President Hosni Mubarak's final days as ruler of Egypt to the Bay Area Rapid Transit's response to the protests on August 11, 2011, governmental entities have increasingly responded to civil unrest by restricting or shutting down wireless communication networks to thrwart further coordination among civilian agitators. Whether BART itself faces another occasion in which to consider disabling its wireless infrastructure, future protests and threats to public safety in the United States are inevitable. To that end, Congress has considered bills that would grant the President the ability to essentially shut down the Internet, including the Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset Act and the Cybersecurity Act of 2010. This Note will discuss the various U.S. legal doctrines that inform when such a termination of modern communication systems is constitutional and when it is not.