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Federal Alerts Have Invaded Your Phone

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Now, speaking of security, we've got some immigration sound bites I'm gonna get to after the next break.  AT&T has begun rolling out wireless emergency alert updates for the iPhone 4S and the iPhone 5.  Now, if the in the past couple of days you had a blue alert message on your phone that said, "Carrier upgrades are now available on your phone," they didn't tell you what the carrier upgrades were.  A carrier upgrade is an update or an upgrade sent out by AT&T or Verizon or T-Mobile, whoever the carrier, not Apple, it's not a software upgrade.  I got this blue alert on Saturday.  Well, one of them on Sunday.  I happen to know what it was because I read the tech blogs.  But if you got one of those blue alerts, the alert didn't tell you what was happening, and when you click okay to release the alert, you are not taken to what has been upgraded or added. 

So here's where you find out.  If you have an iPhone 4S or iPhone 5 go into settings and then notifications and scroll all the way to the bottom.  And if your phone has received the carrier update, what you will see are two on-off switches that are related to government alerts.  One is Amber Alerts, the other is emergency alerts, and you can either leave them on or you can turn them off.  There is a third alert that was part of the carrier update that you can't turn off, and it's called the presidential update.  Any warnings, notifications, will come as a text message.  That's how they will appear. 

So the next time the Feds issue an Amber Alert you're gonna hear about it on your telephone, on your iPhone 4S or your iPhone 5 if you're AT&T, and Verizon, too, my Verizon phone got it.  If there is a weather alert. For example, the Feds issue some emergency tornado warning for X area, you will get that on your phone.  It will look like a text alert. It will look like a text.  By the way, you have no choice, this happens.  You can turn the two alerts off, but you can't keep them off the phone.  Are you scrolling in there, Snerdley, to see if your phone has the alerts?  You're not doing it yet?  You don't have it yet?  Well, you will.  And it'll just happen.  You'll get that blue alert box that says you now have a carrier update, it's been installed and you click "okay" and it goes away. You find whether or not you've had it in notifications. 

The presidential alert is any time Obama wants to talk to you.  I remember when the federal law was passed, and it was not that long ago.  But if Obama ever wants, or any president now, ever wants to issue a presidential alert, it's thought of as very, very rare, and only in the most dire emergencies.  But that ability now exists for the president of the United States to send out emergency text messages essentially to every telephone.  Yeah, that's how they come.  You can turn those two off if you want, you have that ability.  On Dawn's phone, too.  You didn't even know it, right, didn't even know it happened?  It happened, they started rolling it out on Friday.  And you might have seen that blue alert, thought it was something, you see 'em all the time, just released it, didn't even read what it was, but that's what it is. 

Again, if you have an iPhone 4S or an iPhone 5.  And this goes for Verizon, too, by the way.  Just go to settings, notifications, scroll all the way to the bottom, and you'll see if they've been installed on your phone.  Amber Alerts and Emergency Alerts, you can turn those two off.  The Presidential Alert doesn't display.  You can't turn that off. 

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH:  Hi.  How are you?  Welcome back.  Rush Limbaugh on the cutting edge of societal evolution. 

These alerts that I just told you about are federal government alerts mandated by the federal government.  The telephone companies are required to provide them on every phone that is a new enough model to accept the technology.  So in the case of iPhones it's the iPhone 4S and the iPhone 5.  I don't know what Samsung phones accept them, but some of them obviously qualify.  Right now, these alerts are just text. 

But the plan is that the alerts in the future will be audio and video. 

You will not be charged any data usage when these alerts are issued.  Now, probably the first alert that's gonna happen, my guess is it's gonna be an Amber Alert.  I don't really know what constitutes a "federal emergency alert."  That could be a terror attack somewhere, could be bad weather. The bottom line is that this a federal law that was passed in April of 2012.  It was rolled out in New York and Washington first; now it's being rolled out to the rest of the country. 

You have no say-so in the matter. 

You can turn them off. 

You can turn off the Amber Alter and Emergency Alert so that you will not receive them.

END TRANSCRIPT

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