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  1. Thread Author  Thread Author    #1  
    Dark Wizard Matoya's Avatar

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    Default Mandatory emergency alerts via text message.

    Just found this over on XDA.



    New York and Washington residents will start seeing this later this year, and it will go nationwide early next year. I'm all for getting timely emergency alerts, but I don't see why a chip needs to be involved. Universities already send alerts to all they're students via text message, why can't the government do the same thing just on a larger scale? The chip just seems like a waste of taxpayer dollars to me and, I don't want to sound like a paranoid nut, but I really hope that the chip doesn't allow the government to do anything more then just send warning messages.
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    ls377's Avatar

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    The University systems aren't completely mandatory. At UGA, you go through the alert setup screen everytime you change your password, but there is the option to opt out if you want. There isn't really a setup tie in they could use for this.

    The chip seems ridiculous, but there may be a reason for it. Maybe they want to do it without having to go through the carriers, or send them to phone that aren't tied to an account, and the chip allows that somehow
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    Dark Wizard Matoya's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by ls377 View Post
    The University systems aren't completely mandatory. At UGA, you go through the alert setup screen everytime you change your password, but there is the option to opt out if you want. There isn't really a setup tie in they could use for this.

    The chip seems ridiculous, but there may be a reason for it. Maybe they want to do it without having to go through the carriers, or send them to phone that aren't tied to an account, and the chip allows that somehow
    I see. Users will be able to opt out of this system as well, except for presidential messages .

    And yes the chip is ridiculous. I'm not usually a conspiracy person, but the idea of a government mandated chip inside every cell phone worries me. And I really, really hope this system is secure. Can you imagine the chaos and panic that would result if hackers got into the system and issued a false terrorist attack warning to every smart phone in the country?

    As for the carriers, the government is going through them (probably because it's easier and less controversial then if the government compiled a master list of everyone's cell phone numbers) and they are reportedly all on board with this.

    As a weather nerd who is big into emergency preparedness I do like the concept of using cell phones to issue timely alerts to those in the path of dangerous severe weather, for terrorist attacks, and for Amber alerts. But I just wish they could do it without the chip. I don't want to join the tin-foil hat brigade, but I can't help but feel like Big Brother is about to worm his way into my phone.
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    It's not that the government needs or wants to install a chip specific to their alert system. It's that the alert system uses a technology that requires certain hardware technology in handheld devices. As the article you linked to points out, most high end phones already sport the hardware required. They're just mandating that any new cellphones at least meet that hardware requirement. So there's no "Government Chip" per se.
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    Chrisy's Avatar
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    What if we have messages blocked on our account? I don't get messages, including ones from VZW.
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    Dark Wizard Matoya's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chrisy View Post
    What if we have messages blocked on our account? I don't get messages, including ones from VZW.
    I think the P.L.A.N. messages will be seaprate from regular text messages. You will be able to opt out of terrorist attack alerts, severe weather alerts and Amber alerts, but not out of presidential messages.
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    I like the idea of text alerts. I just don't want to run up my bill when I have no message plan! I have messages blocked since using Google Voice. Not sure if the alert texts would get through.
    Last edited by Chrisy; 05-29-2011 at 08:30 PM.
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    Dark Wizard Matoya's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chrisy View Post
    I like the idea of text alerts. I just don't want to run up my bill when I have no message plan!
    I read on the FCC web site that P.L.A.N. alerts will be free, so no need to worry there.
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    you wonder how easy this is to hack, and create mass hysteria.... good idea, but there's always a darker side to these things..
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    Default Re: Mandatory emergency alerts via text message.



    The tornado, gauged preliminarily as having wind speeds around 170 miles per hour, touched down here around 5 a.m. Wednesday, moving swiftly and cutting a path that city officials have described as several hundred yards wide. Warning sirens had gone off here, and some residents described waking even before the sirens to text messages with warnings from local authorities.
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  11. #11  

    Default Re: Mandatory emergency alerts via text message.

    The text alerts are a good thing to alert mass amounts of people at one time.
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    Default Re: Mandatory emergency alerts via text message.

    Quote Originally Posted by jerry 12 View Post
    The text alerts are a good thing to alert mass amounts of people at one time.
    Yep, assuming that there are still phone towers, coverage and no congestion.
  13. #13  

    Default Re: Mandatory emergency alerts via text message.

    Presidential alerts what's that like when they tell me they are launching a nuke attack and kiss my a$$ goodbye. Or Obama sending me a message of his plans for change.
    I well get a message way before the President sends it. Chances are I'll know about it even before the President decides to do it.
    If it works anything like it did when they tested it out here on a few carriers and some phones a couple of months ago. We are in a lot of trouble.

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