And no, there’s still no opt-out from these Presidential Alerts
Back in 2011, the Obama administration announced that it was going to roll out an emergency alert system that entailed, in part, text messages to one’s phone from the president. No one can opt out of these “Presidential Alerts,” and there was quite an uproar from the right about this at the time.
This week, FEMA announced that it will again be testing this emergency alert system on Thursday—it was first tested in November of 2011, and the left is suddenly not happy with the Obama plan now that Obama is no longer in office.
The LA Times reported on this system back in 2011:
President Obama, who has been called the texter-in-chief, will soon have the ability to send any cellphone in the U.S. a text-message warning of impending danger, from a tornado to a terrorist, under a new emergency alert system called PLAN.
The new system, which was announced Monday, is an expansion of the Federal Communications Commission’s emergency alert system, which is currently broadcast over radio and television.
PLAN, which is short for Personal Localized Alerting Network, will first be rolled out in New York City by the end of 2011, with the rest of the U.S. to follow in about the middle of next year, the FCC said in a statement.
. . . . Only three types of alerts will be sent out on PLAN: messages issued by the president, alerts involving imminent threats to safety of life, and Amber alerts.
PLAN alerts will also be given a unique attention signal and vibration, “which is particularly helpful to people with hearing or vision-related disabilities,” FEMA said.
Consumers will have the option, through their wireless carrier, to block all PLAN alerts except for those issued by the president.
FEMA tweeted about Thursday’s test:
Info on the emergency alert test:
?It’s a nationwide test of the same system that pushes public emergency messages like AMBER alerts
?Presidential Alerts are only for national emergencies
?FEMA & @FCC are testing to ensure it will work when needed
FAQ: https://t.co/Op8T9AEpiF pic.twitter.com/FBC1AF7oHY
— FEMA (@fema) September 15, 2018
According to FEMA’s press release about Thursday’s test, these tests have been conducted in previous years, though the alert system is no longer called “PLAN.”
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), in coordination with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), will conduct a nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) and Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) on September 20, 2018. The WEA portion of the test commences at 2:18 p.m. EDT, and the EAS portion follows at 2:20 p.m. EDT. The test will assess the operational readiness of the infrastructure for distribution of a national message and determine whether improvements are needed.
The WEA test message will be sent to cell phones that are connected to wireless providers participating in WEA. This is the fourth EAS nationwide test and the first national WEA test. Previous EAS national tests were conducted in November 2011, September 2016, and September 2017 in collaboration with the FCC, broadcasters, and emergency management officials in recognition of FEMA’s National Preparedness Month.
The left is freaking out. Because Trump. Of course.
They suddenly don’t like being forced to receive text messages from the president, and that’s all well and good (I’m not a fan, either), but their objection has nothing to do with principle.
— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) September 15, 2018
2/ In other words, it's basically like an amber alert from the president when we're all about to die. Or alternatively when he's going so apeshit that tweeting just want give him enough satisfaction.
— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) September 14, 2018
OH GOD OH GOD IH GOD! NOOOOOOOOO!!https://t.co/mrL59iaIri
— bettemidler (@BetteMidler) September 16, 2018
Trump is going to get the ability to push emergency alerts to our phones?
Well, this seems inevitable: pic.twitter.com/NSsnxxqVQN
— ➖Dustin Miller➖ (@spdustin) September 15, 2018
This is an outrageous abuse of power and an invasion of my privacy. If there's an emergency alert, the relevant agency can send the msg. There is NOTHING the POTUS has to say EVER that warrants this kind of access — esp when I have to pay for all data coming and going. JFC…
— Katy Penland (@PenlandKW) September 15, 2018
I want to know why it's a "Presidential Alert" and not just a National Emergency Alert. His twitter posts are annoying enough, are we now going get Rage alerts in the middle of the night? This smells bad.
— M A K (@MAK7591) September 15, 2018
It’s called a “presidential alert” because apparently that’s the way the Obama admin wanted it. What is it with the left that they cannot imagine anything beyond a given moment? Did they think Obama would be president forever, that no Republican would ever win the White House again?
"The president has sole responsibility for determining when the national-level alerts are used."
I think when Obama signed this into law, he never imagined someone like @realDonaldTrump.
Get ready for a flurry of late night "EMERGENCY ALERT: TREASON!!!" updates.
— Phoenician Sailor (@adeadsymbol) September 16, 2018
Some are kind of funny.
“THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed. And there was NO COLLUSION!”
— Tara Gleason (@TaraGle) September 15, 2018
And some are just unhinged.
The warning system shall be used to transmit messages that “relate to a natural disaster, act of terrorism, or other man-made disaster or threat to public safety."
Sounds like a daily warning system for what Trump is doing to America. ? https://t.co/dgMi8mq9jU
— Katie S. Phang (@KatiePhang) September 16, 2018
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