After Blackberry and Android, now the iPhone’s iOS6 will also include “Government Alerts”.
Apple’s eagerly awaited iOS 6 update for iPhones and iPads will include controversial ‘government alerts’ that some fear are part of the federal government’s takeover of communications networks.
“In compliance with the National Alerting Program, the WEA will be coming to Apple devices that will run on the new mobile OS once it arrives this fall.
The iOS 6-compatible devices include iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPod Touch 4G, iPad 2 and the new iPad. This means that users with older iPhone will be able to receive WEA messages once they upgrade their handset to the new mobile software,” reports AMOG.
The federal government is keen to implement a centralized system of control over all communications, with last year’s announcement that all new cell phones will be required to comply with the PLAN program (Personal Localized Alerting Network), which will broadcast emergency alert messages directly to Americans’ cell phones.
Although users can opt out of receiving the alerts from FEMA and the Amber Alert program, messages direct from the president will be mandatory.
“Consumers will have the option….to block all PLAN alerts except for those issued by the president,” the L.A. Times reported last year.
The thought of cellphone users being forcibly targeted with text messages from Barack Obama during the election season has obviously stoked concerns that the emergency alert system could be exploited for political reasons, just as former Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge claimed he was pressured to artificially raise the national terror alert by the Bush administration to help Bush win re-election.
The system, which went live in the New York and Washington Metro areas last December, caused panic in New Jersey after Verizon customers received text messages warning them that a “civil emergency” was in progress and to “take shelter,” prompting alarmed citizens to flood 911 lines with anxious calls.” — Read More.