Hawaii residents received a text alert a couple of weeks ago informing them about an incoming ballistic missile threat. It took almost half an hour for a clarification to be sent out that the alert was false and there was no danger. The FCC launched an investigation into the matter that was initially blamed on human error, an officer clicking on the wrong alert by mistake. Its preliminary report reveals that the officer who pushed the missile alert really believed that there was an incoming ballistic missile threat.

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It was initially claimed that the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency officer pushed out the real alert by mistake but the FCC’s report says that the officer sent it out knowingly because they misinterpreted a mangled message.

It adds that the midnight shift supervisor had played a standard recording which included both the “exercise, exercise, exercise” intimation as well as the “this is not a drill” text from the real Emergency Alert System message. Other officers saw this and figured out that it was a drill, the one who pushed out the alert got convinced that it was real.

The FCC has pointed out that there was a “lack of preparation” on how to deal with a false alarm and that there were “inadequate safeguards” for false alerts. Hawaii has taken steps to ensure that something like this doesn’t happen again in the future and the FCC is going to make its own recommendations on the matter in its final report.

Filed in Cellphones. Read more about FCC. Source: transition.fcc.gov

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