FCC Updates Public On Hawaii Incident

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And the conclusion of the FCC’s preliminary investigation was that the false missile alert in Hawaii was a combination of human error and inadequate safeguards. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said he was most troubled by two things: (1) Hawaii’s Emergency Management Agency didn’t have reasonable safeguards in place to prevent human error from resulting in the transmission of a false alert; and (2) Hawaii’s Emergency Management Agency didn’t have a plan for what to do if a false alert was transmitted.

Pai said the public needs to be able to trust that when the government issues an emergency alert, it is a credible alert. “Otherwise, people won’t take alerts seriously and respond appropriately when a real emergency strikes and lives are on the line.” The Bureau is still investigating and plans to issue a final report on the Hawaii incident. The goal is to minimize the chance of future false alerts to be issued as well as the impact of false alerts.

“Today’s preliminary report is not the end of our work on this issue, but the beginning. In the weeks to come, the Bureau will produce a final report on this incident. And the FCC will work with federal, state, and local officials to explore appropriate actions and/or develop best practices. We want to minimize both the chances of future false alerts being issued as well as the impact of any such false alerts.”

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