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Thursday, November 10, 2011

DONT PANIC

It's just FEMA

Ok - so Wednesday was the big NATIONAL test of the new EBS (sorry, it will always be the Emergency Broadcast System to my generation) ...

Across the nation for 3 minutes there was supposed to be a test for if there was a nationwide emergency such as nuclear attack, alien invasion, Obama's re-election, pandemic, world war, etc... How did that get in that list?

I don't know about other stations or radio programs but here we had just a screen shot of "EAS this is a test of the Emergency Alert System" .... No announcements, no talk over (in fact I was able to still hear the regular broadcast behind the graphic) ...

At least with the local tests there is that annoying sound - either a disharmonious tone or beeping, followed by a voice over announcing that it is only a test and that if it were a real test we would be told where to turn in for information ... Our cable company (Comcast) even switches the channel over to some other channel where we are "held hostage" until the test is finished ...

Now I hear that FEMA is planning to test alerting both cell phones and the Internet ...

HOW ABOUT WE FIX THE TV/CABLE/RADIO ONE FIRST!!!

plus you have to wonder how they will do the next one - since it means they will have to do a Reverse-911 type system for cell phones which should cause more than a few concerns of privacy issues ...

Hell you can't even get a list of cell phone messages for the cell phone you own but your kid uses! We were being charged for something they said my son signed up for via text - so we asked for a listing of the messages to see where the charge was because he swore he didn't sign up for anything ... But because the phone was being used by our son EVEN THOUGH THE ACCT WAS IN OUR NAME we could not get a copy without a subpoena - how stupid is that?

So how can the government get a hold of cell phone numbers?

And are they going to do it by voice, text, both? Will people be charged for the call/text? What if people don't have texting ability (yes there are still some phones out there with out that feature)?

What about those pre-paid phones? Not even the police can track those things - how the heck will the government do it?

Then again how will they know which cell phones of any type to call? I mean if you get a phone through your job the area code will be for which ever city the company made their contract in or where the cell office was - this also means that a person can have an area code for one state while living in another state. Honest!

And how will they do an Internet alert?

Will it be by email? How will they ever get all the addresses? And what to do with those who don't get to check their email every two minutes? After all there are times where I can't check my email for two weeks - I'm sure I'm not alone on this

How will they do an Internet alert?

This one kind of smacks of china's grip on their Internet where they have enough control to where they can block pages from loading nationwide ...

Once this system is in place - the government would be able to control what gets posted, what subjects get rejected, they will be able to track your e-footprints without warrant, and perhaps even monitor your person chats/emails ...

It's a slippery slope.

Then there is the issue that if they are going to alert you via Internet - how can you look up information on the situation if they interrupt the Internet?

And considering how the muffed up the simple cable/tv/radio notice - a system that has been in place since the 1950s - I have a concern of them "locking up" the Internet and then the nation will be going through Internet-withdrawal symptoms --- now that would be cause for an EAS alert!

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