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posted by janrinok on Tuesday March 11 2014, @10:03AM   Printer-friendly
from the be-alert,-the-country-needs-more-lerts dept.

frojack writes:

"Amber alerts on our smartphones are starting to become all too frequent, and like most things, they are burdened with a certain degree of Feature Creep. Not just for abducted children anymore, the Alert system in US carrier sold phones can carry Presidential Alerts, Imminent Threat Alerts (weather or forest fires mostly) and the original AMBER alert for missing children.

Its not clear the President is ever going to have a single message for the entire population, where that message will make any difference to the average citizen. But then, this category is seldom abused. Weather broadcasts are invariably too late, historically too widely distributed, and often simply redundant. And Amber Alerts are, in the majority of cases, custody disputes, where the child is never in any real danger.

Amber Alerts are quickly becoming viewed as security theater, and the most abused aspect of the entire system. This has increasing numbers of people opting out of the alerts on their phones as a result.

The Amber system is the "third rail" of child safety discussions, and few agencies are willing to address its failings. Do we need additional shades of Amber, or the ability to filter custody disputes from the system?"

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  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by VLM on Tuesday March 11 2014, @12:32PM

    by VLM (445) on Tuesday March 11 2014, @12:32PM (#14599)

    The problem is alarm fatigue caused by at least one hundred times as many "That bastard ran off with a girl 10 years younger than me and I'm still butthurt about it, so god help me if he's five minutes late bringing our son back from visitation I will call the police and I will get them to issue an amber alert and I hope the SWAT team shoots that cheating bastard in the head and I bet the judge will give me more money too".

    Meanwhile poor VLM is in his bedroom sleeping about two hours away by car, when the phone goes crazy like a tornado is about to level the house, then I find out this dude is two hours away in rush hour traffic and heading away from my area and I WAS in bed asleep not on the interstate. Next thing you know I'm reconfiguring android "Settings" "Wireless + networks" "Emergency Alerts" and uncheck ALL those bastards. Never F-ing again. Never. F security theater and all the parasites making money off it, I'm going back to sleep.

    The only Amber alerts I see now, are DVR'd TV recordings from a week or two ago. The DVR'd weather alerts are also pretty annoying. Sorry, I don't care today if it rained heavily 30 miles away two weeks ago but nothing really happened. Heck even if something did happen like a tornado, lets be honest, I still don't care. If only there were a way to shut those off too. Maybe satellite dish? Or stream?

    Its not like the modern world has an acute shortage of security theater. To regain the balance, Fox News will just broadcast an expose that there's a terrorist hiding behind every tree trunk, or revive the McCarthy hearings and Hollywood is full of commie sympathizers (and if so ... so what? Like I care.)

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