Wireless Emergency Alerts
(WEA) are a new service from U.S. weather service and FEMA. Starting in June, they will send a text message with a strange tone to your mobile device if you are in range of a Tornado Warning, Tsunami Warning or other major event (in the U.S. only). Major events include "Presidential Alerts." You do not need to sign up. Washington Post Capital Weather Gang
has a few more details.
An unintentional disruption pre-empted morning radio and television throughout Illinois this week when a FEMA contractor mistakenly sent the highest level of alert codes (Presidential) through the Emergency Alert System during the installation of an upgrade.
(A year to the day after the upgrades were ordered
It's not the first time
false warnings have been sent.
Apparently (before the upgrades
) the EAS data headers had no authentication and someone could have hacked a t.v. or radio station
using a Mr. Microphone.
The old Emergency Broadcast System had an authenticator word list
, like the tone, and the voice, the words themselves were slightly unsettling
I know the old EBS tests
used to scare the hell out of me.
The 1971 false alarm
was initiated with the code word: HATEFULNESS.
Police evacuate Birmingham centre
West Midlands police have evacuated the second largest city in England tonight as a precautionary measure. Sky News are reporting
that a series of controlled explosions (I heard on Sky News TV that one of these was on a bus, but this may be innacurate) have been carried out in the Broad Street area.
I hope that any and all UK MeFi-ites in Birmingham are keeping sane through out all this.
Arizona may ignore the next Homeland Security Orange Alert
"It creates incredible problems: overtime, financial, functional," said Frank Navarrete, the state's homeland security director. "It's not quite to the point where it creates havoc, but it's quite disruptive."
You Have The Right To Remain Silent
Police can hold people in custody and force them to talk, so long as their incriminating statements are not used to prosecute them, U.S. Solicitor Gen. Theodore B. Olson and Michael Chertoff, the chief of the Justice Department's criminal division, say in their brief to the court.
It "will chill legitimate law enforcement efforts to obtain potentially life-saving information during emergencies," including terrorism alerts, if police and FBI agents can be sued for coercive questioning, they add
ready to talk or will I have to get my rubber hose and smash your face with my club?