FEMA will test a ‘Presidential Alert’ text message next week that cell phone users won’t be able to opt out of

On September 20th, FEMA will conduct a test of its Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS), which brings together two existing alert systems, the Emergency Alert System and the Wireless Emergency Alerts system. This system will also mark the first time that a “Presidential Alert” will be sent out to a majority of cell phone owners, who won’t be able to opt out.

TechCrunch notes that these types of alerts were established in 2006 under President George W. Bush, so that the White House can issue a notification to the general public in the instance of an emergency. The messages can be sent at the President’s discretion, but while experts have downplayed the possibility of the system being misused, this is the first time that the…

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