Officials deny jamming cell coverage amid pipeline protests

AP News
|
Posted: Oct 28, 2016 3:55 PM

CANNON BALL, N.D. (AP) — Dakota Access pipeline protesters believe local and state authorities jammed cellphone coverage during an operation to force activists from a camp they had set up on private land.

But authorities dispute that, saying the spotty nature of cellphone coverage in the remote area is to blame.

Protest spokesman Cody Hall says protesters had difficulty sending texts and livestreams during Thursday's operation. He says protesters feel their free speech rights were violated.

Morton County sheriff's spokesman Rob Keller says authorities did not jam cellphones during Thursday's operation or at any time during the 2 ½ months protests have been ongoing.

Keller says the area has poor cellphone coverage and that multiple people livestreaming events Thursday "reduced the bandwidth and consequently resulted in bad connections."