Plaintiffs compare the alert system to "hijacking private property for the objective of planting a Government-controlled loudspeaker in the home and on the person of every American".
Tomorrow, at around 2:18PM Eastern (11:18AM Pacific), you'll get a text message flagged as a "Presidential Alert".
This system was developed by broadcast and cable operators in voluntary cooperation with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Federal Communications Commission, and local authorities to keep you informed in the event of an emergency. Under the 2006 law establishing the wireless-alert system, Congress allowed participating carriers to let subscribers block any emergency alerts - except for those issued by the sitting USA president. "Periodic testing is a way to access the operational readiness of the infrastructure and determine whether technological improvements are needed". "No action is needed", officials said. Users can't opt out of the presidential alert test, according to FEMA. This is just a test, and it has been planned for some time.
While the Emergency Alert System has been tested before, the Wednesday test will be the first time the nationwide Wireless Emergency Alert system will be tested. Officials say the initial test was supposed to take place last month, but was postponed due to ongoing response efforts for Hurricane Florence.
The alert, in real situations, would only be used in emergencies that affect the entire US, the Sacramento County Office of Emergency Services said. A similar wireless emergency alert test message has been sent to all cell phones nationwide. The alert will not interrupt a phone call or an active data session, though FEMA and the FTC are working to make sure the information reaches more people.