Monday, September 17, 2018

President can send messages direct to your cell phone - no opt out

If you are not prone to the use of cuss words, you will be after reading this item from 538’s significant digits email.

100 mobile carriers
This week, the Federal Emergency Management Agency is set to test a system that will let President Trump send a message directly to your cell phone. More than 100 mobile carriers, including “all the major wireless firms,” are participating — there is no way to opt out. Now, what follows is all subject to approval by my editor and presumably many besuited lawyers at the Disney corporation, but I am contemplating a way to beam all of my articles to a receptor implanted in your occipital lobe at which point their text will be projected directly onto your aqueous humour. Or something. In any case, there will be no way to opt out. [NBC News]

This is the article from NBC News: FEMA to test ‘Presidential Alert’ system next week. Its subtitle is: Experts expressed little concern that the wireless emergency alerts could be used for political purposes. To paraphrase Melania: I don’t believe that. Do you? Read on.

“The EAS [Emergency Alert System] is a national public warning system that provides the President with the communications capability to address the nation during a national emergency,” FEMA said.

The test message will have a header that reads “Presidential Alert,” according to the agency.

Users whose phones are on will twice hear a tone and vibration and then see an English-only (for now) message: "THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed.”

The wireless emergency alerts (WEA) system was authorized by Congress in 2015 under a law that states the “system shall not be used to transmit a message that does not relate to a natural disaster, act of terrorism, or other man-made disaster or threat to public safety.”

Experts didn’t appear to be too concerned that Trump, known to use his smartphone to blast opponents, berate subordinates and take shots at the news media on Twitter, could abuse WEA.

In what universe are those experts living?

President Trump is already suspect in the breaking of laws so why not one more? How about these?

Hillary is a threat to public safety. Lock her up!

My approval ratings are a man-made disaster. Fake news!

The Mueller investigation is a natural disaster. FEMA, are you there? Protect me, Sessions!

The test is supposed to take place at 2:18 p.m. EDT on Sept. 20. Under the Warning, Alert, and Response Network (WARN) Act of 2006, cellphone users cannot opt out of the presidential alerts.

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