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  1. #1
    Ultimate Member Mister Mets's Avatar
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    Default Feds Ask: Should Netflix Air Emergency Alerts?

    This is an interesting legal question from The Hollywood Reporter: should streaming services like Netflix be interrupted by emergency reports?

    Curiously this discussion seems jumpstarted by efforts to improve the Emergency Alert System after a serious screw-up.

    Notably, in January 2018, citizens of Hawaii woke up to the ominous alarm of a ballistic missile threat that proved to be a mistake. In the wake of this errant message, and as part of defense appropriations legislation, the FCC was directed to study improvements. “As climate change increases the frequency and seriousness of weather emergencies, maintaining an effective emergency alert system has never been more important,” says FCC commissioner Geoffrey Starks.

    But what about streamers? How does one ensure that those bingeing Bridgerton get the message of, say, an incoming tornado?

    In fighting the possibility of imposing emergency alert obligations for streaming services, both the tech and entertainment lobby (even the Motion Picture Association has filed a comment) make two big points. First, they argue, it’s not necessary given the prevalence of mobile phones, which receive wireless emergency alerts. Second, it would be very costly to pull off. And, in the engineering community, there’s some debate about the challenges of focusing emergency alerts given the large geographic footprint of streaming services.

    But perhaps the bigger issue is whether the FCC is going to start taking a more active role in ordering Netflix, Hulu, Disney+ and others around like broadcasters. A notice of proposed rule-making notes the agency hasn’t yet even defined “streaming services,” with an invitation for comment.
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  2. #2
    Astonishing Member Starter Set's Avatar
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    Isn't that kind of information way more efficiently given to the public by using phones?

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Starter Set View Post
    Isn't that kind of information way more efficiently given to the public by using phones?
    Probably. But you'd probably have to get every possible phone provider on board. Of course, the same is true of streaming services.

  4. #4
    Astonishing Member AndrewCrossett's Avatar
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    Hackers everywhere: "Challenge accepted."

  5. #5
    Extraordinary Member j9ac9k's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Starter Set View Post
    Isn't that kind of information way more efficiently given to the public by using phones?
    That's what I was going to say. I get Amber Alerts and severe flood warnings - I would think an impending meteor strike or zombie apocalypse would be sent over the same emergency system.

  6. #6
    Loony Scott Taylor's Avatar
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    I think there is a phone app, but you have to download it and then turn on notifications. So you can opt out of the phone thing, completely. Right now, we get them through broadcast TV. Just had a severe flood warning earlier today, it was the same warning sound as ever, same everything as I remember from the time before cell phones.

    Maybe if the FCC talked with those folks who do the fake warranty calls?
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  7. #7
    Ultimate Member Mister Mets's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrewCrossett View Post
    Hackers everywhere: "Challenge accepted."
    Wouldn't hackers be just as able to go after the regular Emergency Alert system?

    Quote Originally Posted by Starter Set View Post
    Isn't that kind of information way more efficiently given to the public by using phones?
    The argument could be that this would be done in addition to phones.
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  8. #8
    Astonishing Member Starter Set's Avatar
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    Thing is, with phones you can be almost 100% sure that the information is going to reach people instantly. We all have our phones on us during the day. Even my grandma has her phone with her all the time.

    And time of course is most likely to be very important in case of an emergency. Problem with messages on tv or on streaming services is that you are most likely going to miss it. At least for a certain amount of time.

    So, yeah, if the streaming companies are ok with that then sure, why not right? If they aren't too hot about it, to be honest i'm not sure it's worth the struggle and potential legal complications who can arise.

  9. #9
    Astonishing Member thwhtGuardian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Taylor View Post
    I think there is a phone app, but you have to download it and then turn on notifications. So you can opt out of the phone thing, completely. Right now, we get them through broadcast TV. Just had a severe flood warning earlier today, it was the same warning sound as ever, same everything as I remember from the time before cell phones.

    Maybe if the FCC talked with those folks who do the fake warranty calls?
    There's no app, if you're phone is up to date it just sends it out to all phones.

    The problem is there are a lot of people, myself included, whose phones are out of date and don't get those alerts.

    There's no perfect solution, as even when it was just tv and radio you had to have those on or be by them to get the alert.
    Last edited by thwhtGuardian; 07-19-2021 at 05:30 AM.

  10. #10
    A Wearied Madness Vakanai's Avatar
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    People keep talking about phones like we all don't forget to charge it during a Netflix binge or leave it in the bedroom and feel to lazy to get it.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrewCrossett View Post
    Hackers everywhere: "Challenge accepted."
    What I could see is scammers infiltrating the system, shorting stock in something that goes down during a disaster, triggering a catastrophic weather alert, and making a bank.

  12. #12
    Loony Scott Taylor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thwhtGuardian View Post
    There's no app, if you're phone is up to date it just sends it out to all phones.

    The problem is there are a lot of people, myself included, whose phones are out of date and don't get those alerts.

    There's no perfect solution, as even when it was just tv and radio you had to have those on or be by them to get the alert.
    Oh ok. But you can still turn them off, in the settings, right?
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  13. #13
    Latverian ambassador Iron Maiden's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vakanai View Post
    People keep talking about phones like we all don't forget to charge it during a Netflix binge or leave it in the bedroom and feel to lazy to get it.
    I agree with this. I leave my phone on the charger overnight. During the day I keep it in my purse and I don't always hear it because I don't have the ringtone blasting out. But then the same happens with the TV. I don't have it on all of the time.

    There's really no perfect solution and I wouldn't have a problem with it being on streaming service since I do have Disney Plus and HBO Max.

    We get local alerts on our land line phone from the town since we are not a very big one. They will call when there is a tornado alert, etc.

  14. #14
    A Wearied Madness Vakanai's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Iron Maiden View Post
    I agree with this. I leave my phone on the charger overnight. During the day I keep it in my purse and I don't always hear it because I don't have the ringtone blasting out. But then the same happens with the TV. I don't have it on all of the time.

    There's really no perfect solution and I wouldn't have a problem with it being on streaming service since I do have Disney Plus and HBO Max.

    We get local alerts on our land line phone from the town since we are not a very big one. They will call when there is a tornado alert, etc.
    Exactly, there's no perfect solution ~ so better to cover as many bases as possible. No one wants to die in a tornado or flash flood because they had their phone on vibrate.

  15. #15
    Astonishing Member Starter Set's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vakanai View Post
    Exactly, there's no perfect solution ~ so better to cover as many bases as possible. No one wants to die in a tornado or flash flood because they had their phone on vibrate.
    Yeah, cause people sure as hell watch streaming stuff all day long lol. That's going to be useful.

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