Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

May 12, 2011

Advances in Public Messaging: Great Idea – Curious Reaction

Filed under: Catastrophes,Technology for HLS — by Arnold Bogis on May 12, 2011

A seemingly great technological step forward in disaster communication with the public is thrown under the political bus:

President Obama could soon have the ability to personally text message every single cell-phone-toting American — whether  they like it or not — with “critical emergency alerts” under a new federal program that civil libertarians and political opponents say is a Big Brother-like intrusion posing a high risk of political abuse.

Federal officials in New York yesterday unveiled the three-tiered emergency alert system that would blast messages about Amber Alerts, impending weather disasters and terror threats to mobile devices.

Cell-phone users could opt out of most alerts if they want to, but not the texter-in-chief’s presidential pages.

“It’s like the state rep sending out mailings about how wonderful they are,” said Tad Kasperowicz of the Quincy Tea Party. “President Obama says,’Here come the high winds and the thunderstorms’ and it’s not really an emergency, but, hey, he gets his name out to every cell phone in the area. I can see that. Absolutely. There’s potential for abuse there.”

Sure, there is potential for abuse…if you believe the party affiliation of the people currently in office will always hold that office.  In other words, where is the political advantage for Obama to start such a system if it can be politically exploited when a Republican will at some point come into control of it?

Perhaps this is just the natural, and extremely positive, evolution of a public advisory system that had been lagging behind technological developments. However, I may just be naive…

 

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2 Comments »

Comment by William R. Cumming

May 12, 2011 @ 7:39 am

There is now quite a bit of research distinguishing “warning” and “alerting” and “notification” and “call-up” systems in EM. They are very different. Cheyenne Mountain beloved of the people and watchers of “War Games” with Matthew Broderick has long been shut down. What most don’t know is that its “warning” function had long expired and the best it could do was notify of strikes. Why? Well for one thing sub launced missiles are only 10-20 minutes from strikes in the war plans of US possible enemies from off shore. This strategy allows almost no warning and is the most highly classified defensive effort of the USA. Why? Because it undermines the STAR WARS strategic defense initiative. Check out the world’s submarine fleets nuclear and diesel to see where a major naval threat now exists. Not just tomorrow but today. Surface warfare is largely obsolete except against third rate powers and the sinking of the first US aircraft carrier will establish that fact. The subs always win against the carriers in exercises.

Hey just like the river always beats the Casinos?

Comment by Official Eagles Jersey

August 16, 2011 @ 8:58 pm

Surface warfare is largely obsolete except against third rate powers and the sinking of the first US aircraft carrier will establish that fact. The subs always win against the carriers in exercises.

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