The government of Pakistan has once again suspended cellular services in large parts of the country claiming concerns over terrorist activity.
Bloomberg News reported that Pakistan suspended mobile phone services in 39 cities on Thursday. The timing of the shutdown was based on the religious calendar for the country’s Shiite Muslims, a minority that has been repeatedly targeted by Sunni extremists.
The Pakistan Daily Times described the outage as "suspension of services in 45 cities of the country for 14 long hours." The Pakistan Daily Times went on to state that the suspension of the services is illegal and a cellular phone operator and human right activist filed petition against the federal government to stop the actions.
Bytes for All (B4A), a human rights organization in Pakistan sees it differently, “Banning any communication sphere is a blatant violation of citizens’ fundamental rights to communications, freedom of expression and access to information.”
The government of Pakistan has shut down mobile phone services over terrorist fears several times in past year.
While cell phone blocking by individuals is illegal, some wonder how the U.S. government would react to terrorist attacks caused by cell phones. The USA PATRIOT Act has been used in the United States to extend the powers of the government in times of terrorist attacks.