Schumer Calls for Technological Update of Emergency Alerts

Schumer Calls for Technological Update of Emergency Alerts
Schumer Calls for Technological Update of Emergency Alerts

28 September, 2016

It can't transmit photos or video.

"In light of the need to respond in real time to terror threats, we can't afford to have an emergency wireless response system that is stuck in the 90's". Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., called for modernization of the federal emergency alert system.

As police and federal agents hunted for the man suspected of setting off bombs in NY and New Jersey, millions of people received an alert on their cellphones asking for help finding the bombing suspect.

"Though this resource has provided great assistance in emergency and terror situations in NY and across the country, much work remains to be done in order to modernize the system and bring it into the 21st century", Schumer said. But Schumer questioned whether the suspect could have been caught sooner if the system were modernized. "I think we can improve upon it", he said. Senator Schumer says he wants the Federal Communications Commission to upgrade the nation's Wireless Emergency Alert system. The mayor could not confirm last week exactly how the text alert contributed to Rahami's capture, and a de Blasio spokeswoman did not comment on Monday when asked if the alert's exact role had been determined. Though the FCC has already discussed some updates to the system, Schumer said the tool needs multimedia capability to serve as a truly effective resource.

Two policemen injured in Budapest explosion
Hungary has seen only a trickle of migrants since it sealed its southern border with Serbia with a razor wire fence a year ago . Investigators, Papp said, were analyzing images from 145 security cameras in the vicinity of the explosion.

It is the very system used by city officials last week to help find the Chelsea bomber.

The message that was sent after the bombing only had the suspect's name, age and gender and provided no picture.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Verizon wrote to the FCC this spring, cautioning that including web links in WEA alerts could result in "inadvertent network congestion".

The FCC vote was long-scheduled, but the mid-September bombing has put the spotlight on a previously obscure battle over the future of the alerts system.

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