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With iOS 6, Apple devices will receive national emergency alerts

post #1 of 39
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Apple devices running iOS 6 will be able to receive U.S. government alerts during an emergency or disaster, in compliance with a National Alerting Program.

The new feature, labeled by Apple as "Government Alerts," will be a part of the iOS 6 operating system when it launches for iPhone and iPad this fall, as first noticed by Emergency Management (via CNet) on Friday. That means that Wireless Emergency Alerts can be provided to Apple mobile device users.

The feature is expected to be available on all devices that can run iOS 6, including the iPhone 3GS, first released in 2009, and the iPhone 4, which became available in 2010.

Author Rick Wimberley said Apple's adoption of Wireless Emergency Alerts is "big news" for those who work in the emergency management industry. The new feature means that users can receive alerts from local, state and federal officials through FEMA's Integrated Public Alert and Warning System.

The National Weather service also intends to start issuing Wireless Emergency Alerts by the end of June, meaning iPhone and iPad users will be able to receive weather warnings once their device runs iOS 6. There is also an option to opt out of warnings in the Settings menu represented by the usual on/off iOS toggle button.

Alerts


Further details on the new emergency alert system in iOS 6 are unknown as Apple did not detail the new feature at its Worldwide Developers Conference keynote this week.

The U.S. government's Wireless Emergency Alert system went live just last month. Carriers already offer users the ability to receive alerts to customers via text message, without the need for support from mobile operating systems.
post #2 of 39

What a bunch of bullsh**. This isn't about delivering emergency alerts to people. When was the last time you needed to receive an emergency alert that you weren't already aware of? Let's get real, folks... this is about the government successfully creating a surveillance program to track of all its citizens. 


Edited by scotty321 - 6/15/12 at 7:12pm
post #3 of 39

Not only does this allow the govt to send you alerts, but they can also turn off your phone if there's a threat. This is similar to countries turning off the internet when people speak out against the govt.

 

SOPA!

post #4 of 39

Wow FINALLY a feature that everyone gets. Although it's completely worthless..

post #5 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by scotty321 View Post

What a bunch of bullsh**. This isn't about delivering emergency alerts to people. When was the last time you needed to receive an emergency alert that you weren't already aware of? Let's get real, folks... this is about the government successfully creating an surveillance program to track of all its citizens. 

 

I know you're think you're joking but you're not.  The cell phone network already does that.  Well, the cell phone companies charge a fee, but don't demand a warrant.

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/01/us/police-tracking-of-cellphones-raises-privacy-fears.html?pagewanted=all

post #6 of 39

I wonder how it knows to send you a message. If your phone number is in an area code in California but you happen to be in Colorado at the time when an emergency wild fire notification goes out for Colorado residents, what criteria do they use to send the message to mobiles?

 

The reason I ask is that I was in a location that the Police sent out a message that a prisoner had broken out of jail and was seen in my neighborhood but I didn't get the message. a) We don't have a home land line, only have iPhones, which didn't work with the emergency system. b) They only sent the message to land lines anyway.

 

 

Edit:

 

------------------------

Verizon FAQ:

I have a device compatible with Wireless Emergency Alert. I am traveling today, but I did not receive an alert. Why?

Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEAs) are geographically targeted. Only subscribers with WEA capable devices operating within the targeted alert zone will receive alerts. 

WEA capable devices operating outside of the targeted geographical areas will not receive those alerts.

------------------------

Now if only they had advance earthquake warnings  lol.gif

 


Edited by mstone - 6/15/12 at 1:57pm

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post #7 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by scotty321 View Post

What a bunch of bullsh**. This isn't about delivering emergency alerts to people. When was the last time you needed to receive an emergency alert that you weren't already aware of? Let's get real, folks... this is about the government successfully creating an surveillance program to track of all its citizens. 

Why is it that the lunatic fringe has to pop up all the time?

Your statement is ridiculous. Maybe you live in an area that doesn't have natural disasters, but not everyone is so lucky. There's a substantial business selling weather radios in my state and surrounding states so people can be warned of tornados.

For me, this is great news. I was planning to go out and buy a new weather radio and I no longer have to. In addition, when my daughter rid at my ex's house, they don't have a weather radio, but if her iPod Touch will run iOS 6 and receive these alerts, it's an extra degree of safety.

The only thing is that I hope it's more flexible than a weather radio. In my area, we get enough severe thunderstorm, flash flood, tornado, and hail alerts that it's sometimes difficult to get a solid block of sleep - which is why many people who have these radios turn them off. Frankly, I don't care about thunderstorms or flash floods, so I hope it will allow me to select only tornado alerts (preferably just tornado warnings and not tornado watches, as well).
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post #8 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by scotty321 View Post

What a bunch of bullsh**. This isn't about delivering emergency alerts to people. When was the last time you needed to receive an emergency alert that you weren't already aware of? Let's get real, folks... this is about the government successfully creating an surveillance program to track of all its citizens. 


Tin foil hat pinching a little today?

post #9 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

I wonder how it knows to send you a message. If your phone number is in an area code in California but you happen to be in Colorado at the time when an emergency wild fire notification goes out for Colorado residents, what criteria do they use to send the message to mobiles?

 

When you're in Colorado, you're connected to the mobile network there. They are probably sending out messages to phones connected in specific areas.

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post #10 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

For me, this is great news. I was planning to go out and buy a new weather radio and I no longer have to. In addition, when my daughter rid at my ex's house, they don't have a weather radio, but if her iPod Touch will run iOS 6 and receive these alerts, it's an extra degree of safety.

 

I wouldn't give up on the radio idea so fast. One of the things that happened during the Northeast Blackout in August 2003 was that cell towers (at least in NYC) pretty quickly went down, and of course all plug-in TVs and radios didn't work. That left most everyone without any way to get news. It was scary that night in NYC, in the pitch black among 20 million assorted people, with no news and no light anywhere.

 

However, you were very popular if you had a battery radio.


Edited by JONOROM - 6/15/12 at 2:29pm

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post #11 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by scotty321 View Post

What a bunch of bullsh**. This isn't about delivering emergency alerts to people. When was the last time you needed to receive an emergency alert that you weren't already aware of? Let's get real, folks... this is about the government successfully creating an surveillance program to track of all its citizens. 

They can already track your phone.

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post #12 of 39

I'm glad Apple's doing this for my 3GS. I'd wondered if it might be too old.

 

If weather alerts become part of this, I hope Apple will let users configure which alerts they get  like the better weather alert radios. If we can't we're likely to be bother us more often than we like. Then we'll turn the blasted thing off altogether.

 

If you're not in boating, it makes to turn off small craft advisories since they come all the time. And if you live on high ground, you may not need flood warnings. Where I live in Seattle, if you turn those off you can go for months without being bothered.

 

One difficulty with weather alerts though. The coding applies to particular VHF weather channels and thus for a specific area around each. Go somewhere else, and they have other meanings, i.e. what river basin is flooding. That may not translate well to a cellular service.

post #13 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by CookiePuss View Post

Not only does this allow the govt to send you alerts, but they can also turn off your phone if there's a threat. This is similar to countries turning off the internet when people speak out against the govt. SOPA!

Nope.

Turn off the networks? Sure, probably. Is that legal? No. Can they do it? Again, probably.

But they can't turn off my devices.

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post #14 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by JONOROM View Post

 

It was scary that night in NYC, in the pitch black among 20 million assorted people, with no news and no light anywhere.

 

Then 9 months later there was like 1000% increase in in pregnant women in the maternity rooms at the hospitals in NYC.

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post #15 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


Nope.
Turn off the networks? Sure, probably. Is that legal? No. Can they do it? Again, probably.
But they can't turn off my devices.

They probably could perform remote wipe or even brick it if Apple was ordered to do it by a Judge.

 

They do have the ability to not let you use the cell network. After 911 they instituted a security feature that only allows emergency workers to use the cell network during a disaster.


Edited by mstone - 6/15/12 at 3:10pm

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post #16 of 39

You can program weather radios to respond differently to different alarms. At least you can with the Midland WR-300.

 

If you have alarms sounding that you determine are not life threatening you can program the radio to turn off the audible alarm and just have it turn the warning light on for a silent notification of an alert.

 

The local radio station I listen to also interrupts programming using the Emergency Alert System warning tone when weather threatens and begins broadcasting the warning from the National Weather Service just like my WR-300.

post #17 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by pjanders View Post

You can program weather radios to respond differently to different alarms. At least you can with the Midland WR-300.

 

If you have alarms sounding that you determine are not life threatening you can program the radio to turn off the audible alarm and just have it turn the warning light on for a silent notification of an alert.

 

The local radio station I listen to also interrupts programming using the Emergency Alert System warning tone when weather threatens and begins broadcasting the warning from the National Weather Service just like my WR-300.

 

Weather radios are a great addition to one's emergency kit. Cell phones are another. They both serve different functions while overlapping in some.  

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post #18 of 39

The one thing I've wanted for the iPod touch (and even though I don't have one, the iPhone) was AM/FM radio built in. If the cell network or Internet goes down, it would be nice to have the option.

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post #19 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by scotty321 View Post

What a bunch of bullsh**. This isn't about delivering emergency alerts to people. When was the last time you needed to receive an emergency alert that you weren't already aware of? Let's get real, folks... this is about the government successfully creating an surveillance program to track of all its citizens. 

 

I’ve done some quick math and decided that truly insane conspiracy theories are as common as trolls. 50/50 this is a serious post.

 

If they’re going to track you... wouldn’t they just track you? How on earth does this feature help them do so? And how would the data reach the government in a way no techie user or honest tech company (are they ALL in on it?) could ever detect and blow the whistle?

 

And if you somehow worry about this, there are far worse things to imagine: They could also put GPS chips into things you don’t even know have them. Be sure to avoid belt buckles, shoes, and pens! You know those sealed Nike+ transmitters? Tiny devices with the battery built in. You could easily put a GPS and battery into anything. The GPS you know exists is hardly the scariest one! If, that is, you think tracking you is somehow worth both the cost and scandal risk to ALL the many people who would have to be involved in such a massive conspiracy. I know tracking me aint’ worth it :)

 

(Government employees surely do surveil individuals wrongly at times... But I don’t see how this helps them. There are laws that trouble me greatly and need to be overturned. But weather/disaster alerts? Might save my life!)

 

Rule of thumb: if a conspiracy requires thousands of people to be in on it, at all different levels of numerous different organizations, it’s probably all in your head. Secrets can be kept among 2 people, 20 people... not 2000 people.

 

Or maybe 2000 people CAN keep a secret, and I’m one of them... :p


Edited by nagromme - 6/15/12 at 4:10pm
post #20 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

Why is it that the lunatic fringe has to pop up all the time?
Your statement is ridiculous.
I agree that is statement is asinine but that is only because the capability to track an individual is already there.
Quote:
Maybe you live in an area that doesn't have natural disasters, but not everyone is so lucky. There's a substantial business selling weather radios in my state and surrounding states so people can be warned of tornados.
Generally the worst thing we suffer from around here is snow that is very deep. Tornadoes are so infrequent nobody bothers with weather radios.
Quote:
For me, this is great news. I was planning to go out and buy a new weather radio and I no longer have to. In addition, when my daughter rid at my ex's house, they don't have a weather radio, but if her iPod Touch will run iOS 6 and receive these alerts, it's an extra degree of safety.
It is good news but it is a shame the government got involved. Allot does is fuels the types described above.
Quote:
The only thing is that I hope it's more flexible than a weather radio. In my area, we get enough severe thunderstorm, flash flood, tornado, and hail alerts that it's sometimes difficult to get a solid block of sleep - which is why many people who have these radios turn them off. Frankly, I don't care about thunderstorms or flash floods, so I hope it will allow me to select only tornado alerts (preferably just tornado warnings and not tornado watches, as well).

I can see where this might be a problem. Of course the farther you are away from the disaster zone the more those messages appear to be a pain.
post #21 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by pjanders View Post

You can program weather radios to respond differently to different alarms. At least you can with the Midland WR-300.



 



If you have alarms sounding that you determine are not life threatening you can program the radio to turn off the audible alarm and just have it turn the warning light on for a silent notification of an alert.



 



The local radio station I listen to also interrupts programming using the Emergency Alert System warning tone when weather threatens and begins broadcasting the warning from the National Weather Service just like my WR-300.



I'll have to look for a different weather radio that will handle different alerts differently - mine doesn't have that option. I certainly would prefer to have a backup - both the battery powered radio and a cell phone alert, but only if I can program it to only respond to tornados or other critical alerts. With mine going off every time there's a thunderstorm watch, or warning, or flash flood watch or warning, then compounded by them sending a NEW alert every time the time changes or a new county is added, it can go off every hour some times. I really couldn't care less about thunderstorm warnings - my home can handle it and I live on high enough ground that we're not going to get a flash flood.
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post #22 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

The one thing I've wanted for the iPod touch (and even though I don't have one, the iPhone) was AM/FM radio built in. If the cell network or Internet goes down, it would be nice to have the option.

This I agree with 100%, at least in the context of FM which requires very little extra hardware.
post #23 of 39
The government can already track your mobile devices. According to the ACLU, "The Justice Department and most local police forces are currently tracking American's cell phones without getting warrants – but just how common and widespread the practice is remains unclear. We do know that the cases number well into the thousands, possibly the tens of thousands. Some of them are especially disturbing, for instance, in 2010, Michigan police officers sought information about every cell phone near the site of a planned labor protest."

The government can already discontinue your mobile service on demand as demonstrated in 2011 when Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) temporarily halted mobile service during demonstrations.
post #24 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacBook Pro View Post

The government can already track your mobile devices. According to the ACLU, "The Justice Department and most local police forces are currently tracking American's cell phones without getting warrants – but just how common and widespread the practice is remains unclear. We do know that the cases number well into the thousands, possibly the tens of thousands. Some of them are especially disturbing, for instance, in 2010, Michigan police officers sought information about every cell phone near the site of a planned labor protest."
The government can already discontinue your mobile service on demand as demonstrated in 2011 when Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) temporarily halted mobile service during demonstrations.

 

It’s the things we DO know about and allow to continue that are scary! I need not waste time imagining secret conspiracies when stuff like this, right under our noses, needs to be stopped.

post #25 of 39

And we've come full circle, now apple, the company that figuratively put the hammer thru big brother on the screening 1984 is now the one controlling the big screen...

 

so funny so sad.

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post #26 of 39
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Originally Posted by a_greer View Post

And we've come full circle, now apple, the company that figuratively put the hammer thru big brother on the screening 1984 is now the one controlling the big screen...

so funny so sad.

How is Apple responsible?

They made a phone that meets standard industry requirements and has the functions required by law. So why are they guilty of anything?
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post #27 of 39

Wholly conspiracy theories people!  Let me clear some of this up...

 

First, WEA (known by the FCC as CMAS) is a broadcast service, therefore both the tower and the phone must support it at a hardware level to be true WEA because it is broadcast, it is NOT a text message, as has been posted in some places, but most phones (including the iPhone) show it like they show text messages.  Because of this, you get the alert of the tower you're on is in the alerted area, it is NOT using your GPS, it's a one-way street.

 

The National Weather Service is expected to be the top originator of messages.  Unfortunately, it's an all or nothing, but the NWS will send WEA messages for the following alerts only:

 

 

  • Tsunami Warnings
  • Tornado Warnings
  • Flash Flood Warnings
  • Extreme Wind Warnings
  • Hurricane and Typhoon Warnings
  • Blizzard Warnings
  • Ice Storm Warnings
  • Dust Storm Warnings

 

You can opt of two of the three types of messages.  The three types of message are 1. Presidential Alert 2. Imminent Threats to Life and Property 3. AMBER Alerts.  You cannot opt out of the presidential messages, though a presidential alert has never been issued through the EAS in its 50-year plus history.


This will be a great addition to the warning process to give people specific alerts for where they are located.

post #28 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by wettej01 View Post

You can opt of two of the three types of messages. The three types of message are 1. Presidential Alert 2. Imminent Threats to Life and Property 3. AMBER Alerts. You cannot opt out of the presidential messages, though a presidential alert has never been issued through the EAS in its 50-year plus history.

So if I understand you correctly, you can not tell it to ignore just some of the weather emergencies? You either get all of them or none of them? Is that correct?

If so, it's a bummer. I hate having to get constant messages about things that I don't care about but would like to be able to get just the tornado warnings.
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post #29 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by a_greer View Post

And we've come full circle, now apple, the company that figuratively put the hammer thru big brother on the screening 1984 is now the one controlling the big screen...

 

so funny so sad.

 

That's what happens when you read 1984 but not Animal Farm.

 

Four legs good... two legs BETTER!   lol

post #30 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

Why is it that the lunatic fringe has to pop up all the time?
Your statement is ridiculous. Maybe you live in an area that doesn't have natural disasters, but not everyone is so lucky. There's a substantial business selling weather radios in my state and surrounding states so people can be warned of tornados.
For me, this is great news. I was planning to go out and buy a new weather radio and I no longer have to. In addition, when my daughter rid at my ex's house, they don't have a weather radio, but if her iPod Touch will run iOS 6 and receive these alerts, it's an extra degree of safety.
The only thing is that I hope it's more flexible than a weather radio. In my area, we get enough severe thunderstorm, flash flood, tornado, and hail alerts that it's sometimes difficult to get a solid block of sleep - which is why many people who have these radios turn them off. Frankly, I don't care about thunderstorms or flash floods, so I hope it will allow me to select only tornado alerts (preferably just tornado warnings and not tornado watches, as well).

Lunatic fringe? LOL give me break.

More like Lunatic Uninformed Masses. Keep believing brother! The government loves you and wants to take care of you.

----


Its positively disgusting that this is an "opt out" rather than an "opt in" feature.
post #31 of 39
+1
I am rarely in a natural disaster. Hurricane Ike was the only time for me. IOS is pretty useless without internet. When things stop working everywhere you really value the simple things that still do. It would be a feature I'd have little use for, but for me, i'd pay extra for it, especially considering the battery efficiency of these little pocket wonders. I cannot produce much power, but it isn't too big a challenge to power an iPhone when nothing else works.
post #32 of 39
Oops forgot to quote the post I replied to. Was referring to the fact that I'd like to see a radio built into an iphone. Am/fm would suit me fine...
post #33 of 39

If its anything like the alerts on television and radio, there better be a way to turn this "feature" off.

post #34 of 39
Quote:
Apple's adoption of Wireless Emergency Alerts is "big news" for those who work in the emergency management industry.

 

There are already several apps that do alerts.  The one I use does around 105 different alerts.  Somebody help us if the "Radiological Hazard Warning" ever pops up. :)

 

I live in tornado alley, and it's nice to know what's up when the sirens go off at 2 AM.

post #35 of 39
This needs to be opt-in, not opt-out.

It's just that simple.

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post #36 of 39
Just in time for December 21!
post #37 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

This needs to be opt-in, not opt-out.
It's just that simple.

 



You're missing the whole point...  By making it opt-out, people will finally have a universal warning device.  Making it opt-in would highly reduce its usefulness.  In this digital age, there needs to be a method of pushing the information out to people on an opt-out method, like sirens or EAS.

post #38 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


So if I understand you correctly, you can not tell it to ignore just some of the weather emergencies? You either get all of them or none of them? Is that correct?
If so, it's a bummer. I hate having to get constant messages about things that I don't care about but would like to be able to get just the tornado warnings.


That is correct, all or nothing.  But with the ones they selected, I doubt it'll become an issue of 'over warning'.  They are pretty serious!  And we know it's bad if you get more than one in a week!

post #39 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by wettej01 View Post

You're missing the whole point...  By making it opt-out, people will finally have a universal warning device.

You're missing the whole point: I DON'T WANT ONE.
Quote:
Making it opt-in would highly reduce its usefulness.

If you want it, you know where to get it. If you don't, you don't have to care. That's how this works. That's how everything else works in iOS, too. Apps don't get access to your data by default, forcing you to tell them no. It's no by default, forcing you to tell them yes.
Quote:
In this digital age,

No, you have no right to accost me with crap I don't want, regardless of the age.

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