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Friday, November 04, 2011

Feds will shut down communications nationwide on November 9

In case you haven't heard, the federal government will be shutting down communications for a few minutes on November 9. Here's the official reason as stated by the FCC:
At the Federal Communications Commission's June 9, 2011 Agenda meeting, Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau Chief Jamie Barnett, joined by representatives from FEMA and the National Weather Service, announced that the first nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) would take place at 2:00 PM (Eastern Standard Time) on November 9, 2011. The purpose of the test is to assess the reliability and effectiveness of the EAS as a public alert mechanism. EAS Participants currently participate in state-level monthly tests and local-level weekly tests, but no top-down review of the entire system has ever been undertaken. The Commission, along with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, will use the results of this nationwide test to assess the reliability and effectiveness of the EAS as a public alert mechanism, and will work together with EAS stakeholders to make improvements to the system as appropriate.

Before you start thinking that this is legit, remember that this is the federal government we're talking about. And let's not forget that the EAS is the same "alert" system that failed to activate during the 9/11 terrorist attacks a decade ago. While I would love to be able to give the incompetent fools in charge the benefit of the doubt for once, I can't help thinking there's an ulterior motive. A guy in a gym doesn't perform a 400-pound clean and jerk for his health; he does it to impress those around him. My guess is this has less to do with actual public safety (think TSA molestations in airports) and more to do with letting the rest of us know who's really in control of every bit of information we see and hear.

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