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Wed Oct 3, 2018, 05:27 PM

The Atlantic: Trump is Not Texting You

https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2018/10/femas-wireless-alert-test-testing-public-trust/571861/

...Even though it is labeled a “presidential alert,” these notices are not sent by the president, not directly. Within the emergency infrastructure, the transmission that was tested today is called an Emergency Action Notification, or EAN. The president or a designee would indicate the need for an EAN—but as a senior FEMA official confirmed yesterday, the president does not directly trigger the alert, and the criteria for such an alert are limited by law to national emergencies. The scenarios that would likely result in an EAN are mostly established already through federal interagency operations, pre-scripted in anticipation of possible scenarios, and perhaps subject to adjustment for specific situations. But the president himself would probably not even be involved.

(snip)

On top of that, remember that a real presidential alert has never been issued. Not just in the six years that the WEA system has been able to send text-like messages, but not ever, in the 55 years that the EBS and its successors have existed.

Even so, some worry that if any president would abuse the system, it would be this one. Trump loves Twitter. He sometimes uses it unwisely, and the short WEAs look and feel a lot like tweets. Is it possible? Even hypothetically, Trump would need FEMA’s aid to misuse the service, but in theory, a loyalist could help facilitate it. FEMA Director William Brock Long is under investigation for possible misuse of government funds for travel, a minor matter given the other fires burning in the Trump administration, but also enough to fan the flames of suspicion among those who fear that collusion is possible. Hacking of the system has also been a concern, but external vulnerabilities are different from internal complicity.

Whether Trump, or any future president, could or would abuse the system is perhaps less interesting, and concerning, than the fact that citizens appear to be so easily convinced that a complex, long-standing piece of national infrastructure—one created in the hope that it will not have to be used, rather than that it might be employed regularly—is presumed to be untrustworthy. When the false alarm occurred in Hawaii, people were angry and confused: If an emergency-alert system can notify a whole region about an inbound ballistic missile, it better work correctly. But now that FEMA is carrying out its duty to test that very same system nationally, some lament its very existence.

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Arrow 20 replies Author Time Post
Reply The Atlantic: Trump is Not Texting You (Original post)
WhiskeyGrinder Oct 2018 OP
manor321 Oct 2018 #1
Zing Zing Zingbah Oct 2018 #2
WhiskeyGrinder Oct 2018 #5
BumRushDaShow Oct 2018 #13
matt819 Oct 2018 #7
bearsfootball516 Oct 2018 #9
matt819 Oct 2018 #11
mythology Oct 2018 #10
matt819 Oct 2018 #12
leftstreet Oct 2018 #8
Autumn Oct 2018 #15
moriah Oct 2018 #16
Bfd Oct 2018 #3
DownFromTheMountain Oct 2018 #4
hunter Oct 2018 #6
BumRushDaShow Oct 2018 #14
hunter Oct 2018 #17
BumRushDaShow Oct 2018 #18
hunter Oct 2018 #19
BumRushDaShow Oct 2018 #20

Response to WhiskeyGrinder (Original post)

Wed Oct 3, 2018, 05:32 PM

1. Yep

 

The reaction here at DU has been completely embarrassing. It is just an emergency broadcast system, like we've had with TV for decades.

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Response to manor321 (Reply #1)

Wed Oct 3, 2018, 05:42 PM

2. Then do they have a way to target people just in a certain affected area?

I doubt the whole country needs most messages.

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Response to Zing Zing Zingbah (Reply #2)

Wed Oct 3, 2018, 05:49 PM

5. The test that happened today was, by design, a national test, meant to alert the entire population

about something dire. There are ways to target people in certain affected areas. This was not a test of that system.

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Response to Zing Zing Zingbah (Reply #2)

Wed Oct 3, 2018, 07:39 PM

13. "Then do they have a way to target people just in a certain affected area?"

Yes. That's how the NWS issues "Tornado Warnings" (and other severe weather warnings). There were 3 tornadoes here in PA over the past couple days but not where I live in Philly so I got no "TOR Warning" alert on my NOAA Weather Radio nor did I get an EAS on the phone or broadcast radio/tv. However I have had EASes from the NWS a number of times this summer - on my weather radio for flood warnings and as an EAS Alert to my phone for a flash flood warning. I'm sure no one in Phoenix, AZ got an EAS for a "flash flood warning" in Philly.

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Response to manor321 (Reply #1)

Wed Oct 3, 2018, 06:15 PM

7. Oh, FFS

We know that. The mocking is due to the fact that it was described as a “presidential alert” when it’s first test came when a buffoon is the president. Heck, even calling it a FEMA alert is laughable given what FEMA has become under Republican regimes. I mean, really, would you believe anything that FEMA has to say?

That said, unless there’s an impending nuclear attack, I don’t see the need for a nationwide alert at that level. Can you identify one event since 9/11 that would warrant this kind of alert? Quite apart from the fact that this capability almost certainly wasn’t possible at that time, I am not entirely sure what a nationwide alert would have told us that wasn’t available on the news.

And, on top of all that, there is a big brother type component to this capability. I am not going to go all conspiracy theory here, but there is something seriously creepy about sending a text to every cell phone in the United States at the same time.

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Response to matt819 (Reply #7)

Wed Oct 3, 2018, 06:35 PM

9. Eh, I was here when it happened. There were a LOT of posters who thought Trump was texting them

A lot of “this is a gross overreach of Power” and “how do I deactivate getting Trump messages” and stuff. I even responded one thread that was about how the OP was freaking out because Trump could now get to her 24/7.

It was pretty ugly.

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Response to bearsfootball516 (Reply #9)

Wed Oct 3, 2018, 07:29 PM

11. I was as well

And I posted a leave me alone post. But I knew it was not the buffoon in chief texting, and I’m sure the other posts were meant in the same vein.

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Response to matt819 (Reply #7)

Wed Oct 3, 2018, 06:52 PM

10. Utter nonsense

 

You can't credibly claim that people didn't act hysterical while spreading at best specious claims that Trump could hijack the system.

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Response to mythology (Reply #10)

Wed Oct 3, 2018, 07:33 PM

12. If they did then

Then they/we are no better than the cult followers who believed this was a test for/prelude to martial law.

This is what we’ve become as a nation.

That said,I kind of agre with Tom Friedman’s op Ed today re civil wAr.

If WeGo t claim control of Congress next month we are well and truly fucked as a nation.

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Response to manor321 (Reply #1)

Wed Oct 3, 2018, 06:15 PM

8. My complaint is the word "Presidential" in the alert

I've seen several others state the same and I think it's legitimate

There's no need to make the US sound like a fucking dictatorship

A "National" alert would be just fine









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Response to leftstreet (Reply #8)

Wed Oct 3, 2018, 07:52 PM

15. THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed.

That's all mine said, same for my Daughters. Nothing about Presidential alert or anything like that.

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Response to manor321 (Reply #1)

Wed Oct 3, 2018, 08:02 PM

16. What's embarrassing is that we have a President who says so much BS on Twitter...

... that it'd even occur to anyone to compare a national alert you can't opt-out of per Federal law passed in 2006, even in a joking fashion, to harassment.

Let's face it. This really is the first "Twitter President" -- Obama respected the office, a Tweet from him or from the POTUS account was always professional sounding, not stuff like "covfefe" or rage-tweeting to foreign leaders in all caps who only learn of said Tweet because it made news.

Some may genuinely not wish to see anything at all labeled "Presidential Alert" because of such behavior, but the Federal law created in 2006 specifically says alerts issued by the POTUS through this system can't be blocked. And it was done while we had a President most of us mocked unmercifully here then, but no brouhaha was made.

Why the difference? If it'd been tested in 2006 would we have felt this way? No. Because while Bush wasn't the President we voted for in 2000 or 2004, he also didn't embarrass the country regularly through cell phones we can opt out of.

Yes, it's silly in comparison to all the other things going on, but goddamnit, sometimes we have to mock-rage or post memes about him sending pictures of mushrooms or we will bloody melt down from nuclear rage over the important shit and say what we're really thinking -- and get a visit from Agent Mike.

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Response to WhiskeyGrinder (Original post)

Wed Oct 3, 2018, 05:43 PM

3. THIS IS WHY SOME ARE NOT TRUSTING ANY PART OF THIS

 

Trump would need FEMA’s aid to misuse the service, but in theory, a loyalist could help facilitate it.
FEMA Director William Brock Long is under investigation for possible misuse of government funds for travel, a minor matter given the other fires burning in the Trump administration, but also enough to fan the flames of suspicion among those who fear that collusion is possible.


We are right to be suspicious, all Trump things so far, considered.

The odds of it being misused? Low.
Unless the laws & regulations currently in place would be ignored by a nefarious & conniving few who will do whatever it takes to save their criminal skins.

Ya. I don't trust any of that bunch of mobsters with all the power they hold.
Everything Trump touches, dies.

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Response to WhiskeyGrinder (Original post)

Wed Oct 3, 2018, 05:45 PM

4. Yes Yes.

If you have not noticed yet...Trump takes what he can and puts his name on it. Then feels it up and laughs. So pooh poohing the chance for misfortune he has before him here is a little..trusting? Save it. He'll exploit this too.

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Response to WhiskeyGrinder (Original post)

Wed Oct 3, 2018, 06:10 PM

6. In some sort of national emergency I'm doomed.

I didn't get the alert.

My first warning that something is wrong isn't going to be my cell phone, it will be people running around uselessly screaming because blood and rabid weasels are raining from the sky, or the mission to divert Matilda has failed.



I'm okay with that.


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Response to hunter (Reply #6)

Wed Oct 3, 2018, 07:43 PM

14. This is when you need that Presidential alert



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Response to BumRushDaShow (Reply #14)

Wed Oct 3, 2018, 08:16 PM

17. Presidential Alert: Sharknado!

Those sharks are good eating and my freezer has plenty of room for 'em.

Normally, I'd quietly return them to the ocean, but who wants to be caught driving a van stuffed full of live sharks in these dangerous times?

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Response to hunter (Reply #17)

Wed Oct 3, 2018, 08:18 PM

18. Plus the teeth make a cool necklace!



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Response to BumRushDaShow (Reply #18)

Wed Oct 3, 2018, 08:43 PM

19. For sure!

I might endeavor to receive Presidential Alerts in the future just for first crack at shark teeth and zombie knuckle jewelry.



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Response to hunter (Reply #19)

Wed Oct 3, 2018, 08:46 PM

20. I think they have quite a few rows of them so should be plenty.

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