President Obama sent text messages to his supporters during the election, and now he’s preparing to send messages to all citizens regarding amber alerts, security threats and national disasters.
Under the program, called the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS), the messages could be sent out based on geography (down to the county level) and so far, they are proposing it as a “opt-out” rather than an “opt-in” system (unlike Amber alerts today). This week, the clock starts ticking on a 28-month period in which wireless carriers, which have elected to participate in the design specifications, will test and deploy the system. Public alerts won’t be ready until 2012. So far, it would be limited to 90 characters of text, but in the future, alerts could include audio, video or downloadable media. Release. Presentation.
The alert program is being developed through a partnership between the Department of Homeland Security