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AT&T to Send Emergency Alerts to U.S. iPhone 4S/5 Owners [Update: iPhone 4 Users Also Included]

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AT&T has announced that it is pushing out a software update to bring Wireless Emergency Alerts to its U.S. customers that use an iPhone 4S or an iPhone 5. Wireless Emergency Alerts are part of a public safety system that is designed to send out geographically-targeted messages to alert people about "imminent threats to safety."

The messages are government issued and will include AMBER alerts for notifying users about missing children, emergency alerts that offer weather notifications and public safety warnings, and Presidential alerts, which are messages that are sent directly from the President.
Wireless Emergency Alerts are part of the FCC's CMAS program and are mandated by law. You may turn off alerts (except for Presidential alerts) if you choose. Go to Settings >Notifications>Turn On/Off.

When the software update is delivered to your phone, you will see a message that states "Carrier Settings Update: new settings required for your device have been installed". After that, your iPhone 5 or 4S will receive all Wireless Emergency Alerts by default.
AT&T notes that messages sent through the Wireless Emergency Alerts system will not count against its subscriber' messaging plans. Both AMBER alerts and Emergency alerts can be turned off, but Presidential alerts are mandatory.

iPhone 4S and 5 users operating iOS 6.1 or later have already begun receiving the update over the air, while those using an older version of iOS will need to download the update through iTunes.

Update: As noted by several tipsters, the alerts will be available for iPhone 4 users as well.

Article Link: AT&T to Send Emergency Alerts to U.S. iPhone 4S/5 Owners [Update: iPhone 4 Users Also Included]
 

robanga

macrumors 68000
Aug 25, 2007
1,657
1
Oregon
The Feds are already recording and watching us through the camera anyways, send away.

:)
 
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Aldaris

macrumors 68000
Sep 7, 2004
1,771
1,183
Salt Lake
I hunk you should be able to turn them all off. Regardless of if they are watching us anyways. Lol

Already have to buy insurance (or will in a few months) now he can mass message us on our 'cough' private personal phones. That's bull.
 
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JoEw

macrumors 68000
Nov 29, 2009
1,525
881
The Feds are already recording and watching us through the camera anyways, send away.

:)

Yeah didn't you see that snippet of code in the IOS software that sends video camera feeds to government servers?

I thought that would be big news :p ;)
 
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Ungibbed

macrumors 6502a
Dec 13, 2010
731
177
USA
I noticed this enabled on my T-Mobile iPhone 5. I had thought it was already with other carriers.
 
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thelatinist

macrumors 603
Aug 15, 2009
5,936
50
Connecticut, USA
now he can mass message us on our 'cough' private personal phones. That's bull.

Presidential alerts are designed for nationwide emergencies like nuclear war. None has ever been issued in the 17-year history of the program, nor was any issued through its predecessor the Emergency Broadcast System. I think your private phone is safe from Presidential Spam.

ETA: just received the update.
 
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iPhone89

macrumors newbie
Sep 19, 2012
13
18
Connecticut, USA
How do you know you're getting the update? iPhone 5 here and haven't gotten it yet. I'm in Connecticut.

EDIT: Plugging my iPhone 5 into my computer worked, got notified of the update, downloaded and installed it through iTunes.
 
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iFarmer

macrumors member
Dec 12, 2012
86
0
Got this on my iPhone 4 earlier today running 6.1.3. Oddly enough, personal hotspot is also now enabled without ever having paid for it.
 
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tommyminahan

macrumors regular
Aug 16, 2008
176
119
Got this on my iPhone 4 earlier today running 6.1.3. Oddly enough, personal hotspot is also now enabled without ever having paid for it.

Did you upgrade to family share?

That is a part of the ATT familyshare data sharing, I didn't know, I thought it was extra too.
 
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iFarmer

macrumors member
Dec 12, 2012
86
0
Did you upgrade to family share?

That is a part of the ATT familyshare data sharing, I didn't know, I thought it was extra too.

Not that I'm aware of. Haven't changed our plan in over 2 years. (And I remember it being greyed out last week)
 
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pooleman

Suspended
Jan 11, 2012
1,769
424
Eastern CT
Hopefully a Cydia tweak will come out to remove/block this.

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Not that I'm aware of. Haven't changed our plan in over 2 years. (And I remember it being greyed out last week)

Maybe the new family share access is how Big Brother is keeping his tabs on you.
 
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rorschach

macrumors 68020
Jul 27, 2003
2,097
681
Already have to buy insurance (or will in a few months) now he can mass message us on our 'cough' private personal phones. That's bull.

Read up on some history. These emergency alert systems have been around since the 50s. The president has had the power for decades to issue an "Emergency Action Notification" and override all television broadcasts to address the country. That's far more expansive power than a text message. :rolleyes:
 
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ArtOfWarfare

macrumors G3
Nov 26, 2007
9,061
4,994
Read up on some history. These emergency alert systems have been around since the 50s. The president has had the power for decades to issue an "Emergency Action Notification" and override all television broadcasts to address the country. That's far more expansive power than a text message. :rolleyes:

I consider turning off the TV or radio a lot easier than turning off my phone (I realize they require roughly the same amount of effort, but I'm giving up a lot more by turning off my iPhone than my TV.)

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Presidential alerts are designed for nationwide emergencies like nuclear war. None has ever been issued in the 17-year history of the program, nor was any issued through its predecessor the Emergency Broadcast System. I think your private phone is safe from Presidential Spam.

ETA: just received the update.

Weird, I've never heard of this program, I guess because its never been used. Good to know it exists, and I'm glad it's never been needed or used - let's all make sure it never is needed or used.

(It seems to me 9/11 would have been a good time to have used this system... I realize it ended up not being an all out attack on the US, but I remember in the first hours following the second plane strike that I was expecting dozens more attacks nationwide.)
 
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robanga

macrumors 68000
Aug 25, 2007
1,657
1
Oregon
Read up on some history. These emergency alert systems have been around since the 50s. The president has had the power for decades to issue an "Emergency Action Notification" and override all television broadcasts to address the country. That's far more expansive power than a text message. :rolleyes:

Assuming people are still watching TV. Do they have a way to interrupt Netflix? i bet you not.
 
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NYU

macrumors newbie
Oct 23, 2007
2
0
iOS 7

I'm running iOS 7 on my 4S, can anyone confirm the new AT&T carrier update is version 14.5 in Settings - About ?

The Government Alerts are enabled for me, just want to make sure it's not an iOS 7 bug.

Thanks!
 

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