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Federal Government Will Temporarily Interrupt All TV and Radio
Broadcasts on November 9, 2011-Truth!
Summary of the eRumor: The eRumor says "If you have
ever wondered about the government's ability to control civilian
airwaves, you will have your answer on November 9th," the day they will
shut off all television and radio at the same time for a test of the
national Emergency Alert System.
The Truth: Whoever authored this was
being cynical about the "government's ability to control the civilian
airwaves." All broadcasting is under government oversight because it is
permitted through licenses granted by the Federal Communications
Commission (FCC). This particular event on November 9, 2011 is not an
expansion of that control.
Click for FCC announcement.
The government is not going to "cut off" broadcasting but is going to be
inserting a nationwide test of what is known as the Emergency Alert
System (EAS). Most listeners to American radio and viewers of American
television are familiar with such tests. They are conducted by local
stations on a regular basis and usually start with an announcer saying,
"This is a test."
The difference on November 9 will be that the test is nationwide and
conducted on all stations at once at 2:00pm Eastern Time and will be
longer than the familiar local tests, which are usually one-minute. This
nationwide message will be 3 1/2 minutes.
According to the FCC, this will be the first time that all the stations
will do the test at the same time and is to "...assess the reliability
and effectiveness of the EAS as a public alert mechanism."
Radio and TV spots will be running nationwide in advance of November 9
to let citizens know that the test is coming up and why it is being
Public Service Announcement posted by the
FCC on YouTube
A real example of the eRumor as it has
appeared on the Internet:
Did You Know Feds Will Temporarily Cut
Off All TV and Radio Broadcasts on Nov. 9?
If you have ever wondered about the government’s ability to control the
civilian airwaves, you will have your answer on November 9th.
On that day, federal authorities are going to shut off all television
and radio communications simultaneously at 2:00PM EST to complete the
first ever test of the national Emergency Alert System (EAS). This isn’t
a wild conspiracy theory. The upcoming test is posted on the Public
Safety and Homeland Security Bureau website.
Only the President has the authority to activate EAS at the national
level, and he has delegated that authority to the Director of FEMA. The
test will be conducted jointly by the Department of Homeland Security
(DHS) through FEMA, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and the
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National
Weather Service (NWS).
In essence, the authority to seize control of all television and
civilian communication has been asserted by the executive branch and
handed to a government agency.
The EAS has been around since 1994. Its precursor, the Emergency
Broadcast System (EBS), started back in 1963. Television and radio
broadcasters, satellite radio and satellite television providers, cable
television and wireline video providers are all involved in the system.
So this begs the question: is the first ever national EAS test really a
Probably not. At least, not yet.
But there are some troubling factors all coming together right now that
could conceivably trigger a real usage of the EAS system in the not too
distant future. A European financial collapse could bring down U.S.
markets. What is now the “Occupy” movement could lead to widespread
civil unrest. And there are ominous signs that radical groups such as
Anonymous will attempt something major on November 5th- Guy Fawke’s day.
Now we know in the event of a major crisis, the American people will be
told with one voice, at the same time, about an emergency.
All that's left to determine is who will have control of the EAS when
that day comes, and what their message will be.
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