The White House, FEMA, and plaintiffs didn't immediately respond to requests for comment.
Still, today marks the first nationwide test of the Presidential Alerts, and not everyone thinks it's the best use of government resources-especially when you consider that our current president seems to have no trouble getting messages out on his own. No action is needed, ' " FEMA wrote.
Okay, So What is a Presidential Alert? To borrow a well-worn phrase from a phone commercial, there's a precedent for that.
President Barack Obama signed the 2015 "Integrated Public Alert and Warning System Modernization Act" into law in 2016. Can you blame them? With other messages like AMBER alerts and flood warnings that automatically pop up on people's phones, many carriers let you go into your phone's settings to shut them off. It was completed in coordination with the Federal Communications Commission. "The WARN Act further established that the wireless alerting service should allow wireless subscribers the capability of opting out of receiving WEA alerts, other than an alert issued by the President".
The FCC and FEMA have pages dedicated to WEA and the alert on Wednesday.
As previously mentioned, a Presidential Alert like this is for the worst of worst cases and has a long and well-ironed out history in our country.
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"There is no opting out of the presidential alert, which would only be used in a national emergency", confirms a senior FEMA official.
The plaintiffs are also concerned Trump might use the alerts to spread disinformation because IPAWS doesn't regulate the content of the messages. It featured a loud alarm, followed by vibration that lasted around one minute, and required no action.
But the move has prompted a lawsuit in NY, which says that presidential alerts are a "violation of Americans' First and Fourth Amendment rights to be free from Government-compelled listening, as well as warrantless, non-consensual trespass into and seizure of their cellular devices". The test is made available to EAS participants, officials said.
FEMA said the WEA is used to alert the public about "dangerous weather, missing children, and other critical situations through alerts on cellphones". But those Amber and weather alerts target specific regions. "Verizon has voluntarily participated in the program from its beginning, and almost all the handsets we sell to customers are capable of providing the alerts". Legislation passed by Congress in 2015 requires "nationwide testing of the system every three years", and this is test number one.
As mentioned previously, FEMA constructed the test as a way to see if any improvements to the system are necessary.
Jeh Johnson, the former secretary of Homeland Security.