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Hawaii residents were taken aback yesterday when they received an emergency alert on their handsets informing them that a ballistic missile was headed for their shores. It took more than 30 minutes for a clarification to be sent out as there was no threat and the alert was false. Subsequent clarifications have revealed that the alert was due to a human error and as state agencies have launched an investigation into the matter, so has the Federal Communications Commission.

The alert was sent out yesterday out of the blue informing residents that a ballistic missile threat is incoming. Nobody knew where it was coming from and how soon would it take for the threat to materialize. This caused panic and confusion among the people of Hawaii.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has confirmed today that the FCC is looking into the matter. He said that the agency’s investigation is “well underway,” adding that the initial findings have revealed that Hawaii doesn’t have “reasonable safeguards or process controls” to prevent a false alert like this from going out.

Pai also said that what happened is “absolutely unacceptable,” because it didn’t just cause widespread panic in the state for more than 30 minutes but it also resulted in reduced confidence in the alert system. It’s feared that this episode might damage its effectiveness in a real moment of crisis.

Filed in General. Read more about FCC. Source: fcc.gov

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