Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Good news: Presidential spam coming to a cell phone near you


A new national alert system is set to begin in New York City that will alert the public to emergencies via cell phones.

It’s called the Personal Localized Alert Network or PLAN. Presidential and local emergency messages as well as Amber Alerts would appear on cell phones equipped with special chips and software.

The Federal Communications Commission and the Federal Emergency Management Agency said the system would also warn about terrorist attacks and natural disasters.

“The lessons that were reinforced on 9/11 is the importance of getting clear and accurate information to the public during a crisis,” New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg said at a news conference on Tuesday.

Verizon and AT&T, the nation’s largest cell phone carriers, are already on board. Consumers would be able to opt out of all but those presidential messages.

(italics, ours)

Now, that's just creepy. We don't care who's in the damn Oval Office - we're not down with stalkers.

And it's telling in this day in age that the default mode is that you are already enrolled in the plan and it's on you to have to tell them, "no, thanks."

In this time of PDAs, 24 hr. news channels, twitter, tumblr and the like, why did someone feel this was necessary?

Our cell service is with Sprint and they have been advised we will drop them like a bad habit should they, you know, opt in to this plan on our behalf.

Here's the text of the email we fired off to them earlier today:

Dear Sprint, (We've) had your cell phone service for several years now and have generally been very pleased with both the service and the customer support. It has come to (our) attention that both Verizon and AT&T have signed up for this supposed national emergency alert plan that (we) believe is both unnecessary and completely intrusive. As a customer, (we) felt it was in everybody's best interest to inform you that (we) will drop your service the moment (we) find out that Sprint has also signed up for this plan. Thank you for your time.

Auto reply said that we should hear back from them in one business day. We'll share what we get back.


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