Wireless Users May Eventually Receive Government 'Blue Alerts'
The FCC has added a new type of alert to the Emergency Alert System that is specifically meant for law enforcement officers and other first responders. Joining the Amber Alert and Silver Alert, the new Blue Alert can be used by state and local authorities to notify the public of threats to law enforcement and request help in apprehending suspects. "Blue Alerts warn the public when there is actionable information related to a law enforcement officer who is missing, seriously injured or killed in the line of duty, or when there is an imminent credible threat to an officer," said the FCC. "A Blue Alert could quickly warn you if a violent suspect may be in your community, along with providing instructions on what to do if you spot the suspect and how to stay safe." Local authorities may send Blue Alerts through broadcast, cable, satellite, and wireline video providers, as well as via the Wireless Emergency Alert system directly to consumers' cellular phones. The FCC said it expects it to take up to 12 months to implement Blue Alerts for the Emergency Alert System and 18 months to implement Blue Alerts for the Wireless Emergency Alert System.
Oct 2, 2018
Most cell phones in the U.S. will receive a pair of emergency alerts, sent via text message, on Wednesday, Oct.
Dec 19, 2019
New FCC rules for Wireless Emergency Alerts take effect this month. The new rules are designed to make emergency alerts more specific, more relevant, and less annoying.
Jun 18, 2018
Apple today said iPhones will soon provide 911 emergency services with more exact locations of callers. Since 2015, Apple has relied on HELO (Hybridized Emergency Location), which uses cellular, GPS, and wifi access points to estimate 911 callers' locations.
Nov 29, 2017
The Supreme Court today heard a case regarding whether or not law enforcement can access certain types of cell location data without a warrant. Government agencies do not currently need a warrant when requesting location and other data held by phone companies thanks to a 1979 court case.
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