When Donald Trump becomes president, he’ll be able to text everyone in America, anytime he wants, and you can’t do anything about it, because his texts will be unblockable.
In 2006, Congress passed the Warning, Alert, and Response Network Act, which established Wireless Emergency Alerts. These are 90-character messages that can be sent to every cell phone in a certain geographic area.
There are three types of WEA’s: Amber Alerts for missing kids, alerts involving imminent threats to safety or life, and alerts from the president. You can block the first two, but not the presidential ones.
Which means that if Donald Trump gets mad at Rosie O’Donnell at 3 in the morning, we could all get an angry text about it.
Luckily, this system is more complicated than just tapping out a Tweet with your tiny orange hands. It requires time and effort, and it takes two courses to learn how to use it.
Also, a WEA has to be issued through FEMA. And while the director of FEMA is picked by the president, we should hope the guy Trump puts in there won’t let him use this power to insult the casts of Broadway shows.
But on a more serious note, some people are pointing out that actual damage could be done here.
A message went out to New Yorkers in September to keep an eye out for a bombing suspect named Ahmad Khan Rahami. There was no picture, because you can’t send images in a WEA. Just an alert to look for a 28-year-old guy with a Muslim name.
The fear is that if Trump doesn’t exercise restraint . . . and that’s NOT one of his strong suits . . . he could end up making a bad situation worse.
Of course, he could do just as much damage . . . and more, really, with Twitter.