Fight Conspiracy Theories: The Presidential Alert
Wednesday, October 3, 2018
Hey! Are you concerned by the “presidential alert” today? Here’s your opportunity to fight rumor-mongering and conspiracy theories…
The president does not have your phone number! The government doesn’t either!
Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEAs) work by broadcasting to cell phone towers. When it’s like a tornado or an amber alert, it goes to certain counties or a whole state. In this case, the test alert went to every cell tower in the US.
The president can’t access your phone! WEA is a partnership between the government and the phone companies to do large-scale broadcasts. By cell tower.
This president didn’t come up with this! This capability has been in development since WAY BEFORE this administration. It’s in a law. Congress makes the laws.
Not everyone got an alert. Some phones aren’t enabled, and some cell companies don’t participate. Also, it was a test. If you thought you should have gotten an alert but didn't, here is the FCC feedback form.
There is no message charge.
You can’t opt out of a presidential alert. This was created for public safety reasons, in the case that there would be a need to notify the entire nation of some action related to an attack or catastrophe.
Are you a criminal? Are you talking to an agent of a hostile foreign government? Terrorists?
If not, the government would not be monitoring your phone. To do so requires a law enforcement reason and often a FISA court.
Please #SpreadTheWord. Facts and truth and conversation are part of how we navigate this challenging world.
** To send feedback, go to the FCC EAS feedback page here.
** Perspective on this test from The Atlantic: "Trump Is Not Texting You - What should have been a routine, required national test of the Wireless Emergency Alerts system has become a crucible for public distrust." Link here.
** Official FEMA alert test info here.
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