Why you will receive a presidential text message today

04 October, 2018, 00:44 | Author: Shannon Newton
  • Most US cell phones to receive 'Presidential Alert' text on Wednesday

The message was sent out by President Donald Trump through the nationwide wireless emergency alert.

All freaking out aside, the wireless alert system actually launched in 2012 when Barack Obama was president, so it's been around for a while. "But people don't get their messages the way they used to".

Martin Heinrich, who is running for Senate in New Mexico, used the interest in the alert to send a warning about midterm election security.

FEMA officials estimate almost 75 percent of all mobile phones in the country, including major carriers, will receive the alert.

FEMA officials estimate it will reach about 75 percent of all mobile phones in the country, including phones on all of the major carriers. The WEA test can, however, be ducked by powering your phone down.

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This test was originally scheduled for last month, but had to be postponed while the agency responded to Hurricane Florence.

The test alert was sent by a device similar to a laptop from a FEMA laboratory. If this had been an actual emergency an official message would have followed the tone alert you heard at the start of this message.

It's described as "a national public warning system that provides the President with the communications capability to address the nation during a national emergency".

They've since created a "cancellation template" and instilled procedure requiring two officials to sign off before any alert is sent.

Only the President can authorize use of the system and determines when it is appropriate to use, FEMA would then activate the alert.

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"Got it!" In Seattle, the test alert arrived in the middle of the GeekWire Summit.

The alert is expected to appear and sound similar to AMBER and severe weather alerts, but unlike those Alerts there is no opting out. WEA may also be referred to as "government alerts" or "emergency alerts".

Because the message is meant to include "critical lifesaving information", it's created to reach as many cellphones as possible, even those that aren't activated or don't have SIM cards. But you'll likely need to get an older phone for that, since most newer phones are made to be compatible.

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".

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