‘Trump alert’: US mobile phone owners braced for test

By on

More than 200 million US mobile phones are set to receive a test “Presidential Alert” later on Wednesday.

The trial is designed to check that a previously unused emergency communications system works properly.

Unlike other alerts – such as natural disaster warnings – there is no way to opt out, except switching a device off or blocking its cellular connection.

Some are describing the test as a “Trump Alert” – but the US president is not personally involved in the trial.

Instead, the nationwide event is being run by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (Fema), which would also be in direct control of the system if a real alert was ordered by the US President, Donald Trump.

It is intended to be used to warn of major threats, including:

  • missile attacks
  • acts of terrorism
  • natural disasters

The alert will produce a tone and show a notification saying: “THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed.”

It will be broadcast from mobile phone masts for about 30 minutes from 14:18 ET (19:18 BST) – but devices should display only a single message.

The test was mandated under a 2015 law that said one must be run at least once every three years.

It was originally scheduled for September but was delayed in order to avoid any confusion while Hurricane Florence response efforts were continuing in North and South Carolina.

Legal challenge

Congress has placed limits on when the president can trigger such a warning, saying it must relate to a natural or man-made disaster or public safety threat.

Even so, there was a last-minute effort to block the test and wider use of the Presidential Alert system.

A journalist, a breastfeeding advocate and a fitness instructor teamed up to sue Fema, claiming the technology was a violation of their rights to be free from “government-compelled listening”.

The legal action alleged that the test could be “traumatic” to children and that the system was open to abuse.

“Officials – including [President] Trump – are free to define ‘act of terrorism’ and ‘threat to public safety’ as they see fit, potentially broadcasting arbitrary, biased, irrational and/or content-based messages to hundreds of millions of people,” the legal action claimed.

However, a New York judge refused the request at a hearing on Wednesday morning.

Others have used social media to complain about and mock the trial. Several have noted that anyone wanting to know the president’s thoughts can turn to Twitter.

But in response, others have highlighted that the system was developed and put in place during the presidencies of George W Bush and Barack Obama.

Moreover, after two previous alert system errors – the first involving a false alarm about a missile attack on Hawaii, the second involving a presidential proclamation about Senator John McCain’s death being sent to the wrong people – there is an argument that the technology needs to undergo regular public tests if it is to be relied on.

 

Source: BBC

ABOUT: Ellsamwise King

[email protected]

A Civil/Structural Engineer & Freelance Blogger, Journalist, Social Media Mogul, Digital Marketer, Entrepreneur, and Philanthropist. CEO of Skyline Consortium & 9189 Media Consult and Co-Founder of Team Sarkodie. An alumnus of Prempeh College where he read General Science. He holds a first degree in Bachelor of Science from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology. His mentors are Alvar Alto, Rupert Murdoch, Piers Mogan, Mensa Otabil, Bernard ElBernard Nelson-Eshun. Blogs for; http://www.233times.com | www.paemuka.com | http://www.playmusicgh.com | http://www.muzikiq.com | http://www.brandsaid.biz . Social Media Manager for Eon3 Group | BrandsAid | Kings Crown Media | Carabao Africa Ghana & Africa | Calvary Temple - ICGC | Team Sarkodie | Muzik IQ | Kwaw Kese Please inquire more via Email: [email protected] | [email protected] Instagram & Twitter: @wise_tskd Facebook: Ell Samwise LinkedIn: EllSamwise King Dogbe

view all posts by: Ellsamwise King  

ABOUT 233TIMES

233times.com is a Ghanaian media house which serves as a major source of exclusive interviews ,music and video downloads, news and more.

233times.com reports on major events,news covering entertainment, politics, sports, etc from within Ghana, Africa and beyond.

We have a platform for the amateur artistes to portray their staggering talents ...more...

WE ON SOCIAL MEDIA. FOLLOW US

facebook twitter youtube google plus linkedIn

To advertise with us or make enquiries, please visit 233times.com/advertise or call +233249455142 (Selorm), +233248185848 (Nana Kwesi)