Tags: hawaii | false alert | sender | fcc

Hawaii False Alert Sender Not Cooperating With FCC

Image: Hawaii False Alert Sender Not Cooperating With FCC

A smartphone screen capture shows false alert. (AP Photo/Jennifer Kelleher/ AP)

By    |   Friday, 26 January 2018 11:08 AM

The Hawaii Emergency Management Agency employee responsible for sending a false missile alert to mobile phones earlier this month isn’t cooperating with a Federal Communications Commission investigation, Time reported.

Agency officials said it was a matter of personal choice “in the end” whether employees should cooperate.

The lack of cooperation was revealed at a hearing of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation on Thursday, during which the chief of the FCC’s public safety and homeland security bureau, Lisa Fowlkes, called out the still-publicly-unidentified employee.

“We are quite pleased with the level of cooperation we have received from the leadership of the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency thus far,” she said, per Time.

“We are disappointed, however, that one key employee, the person who transmitted the false alert, is refusing to cooperate with our investigation. We hope that person will reconsider.”

The erroneous alert was sent to everyone in the state on Jan. 13, urging people to “seek immediate shelter” and causing widespread panic.

It was almost half an hour later when a correction was issued.

The emergency worker was blamed after he accidently “pushed the wrong button” during a routine drill, CNN reported.

The employee in question was working in the emergency operation center when he selected an incorrect template that sent the message out to the public instead of internally.

The error resulted in the employee being reprimanded and reassigned, although he was not fired from his position.

The Hawaii Emergency Management Agency has since confirmed that the employee was not cooperating with investigations.

“He gave an initial statement at the time of the incident, and has refused to speak to us since then,” said Richard Rapoza, Hawaii Emergency Management Agency public information officer, according to KHON2.

“His position has been that he gave a written statement, and he has nothing more to say.”

Fowlkes said the incident was unacceptable, claiming that the “cry of wolf damaged the credibility of emergency alert messaging, which can be dangerous when a real emergency occurs,” CNN reported.

The Hawaii Emergency Management said in a statement that it shared Fowlkes’ sentiments, noting that all its employees were encouraged to cooperate in all ongoing investigations.

“While cooperation is in the end a matter of choice for each individual, we hope that anyone who is not cooperating will reconsider and assist in bringing these matters to a satisfactory conclusion,” the agency said, ABC News reported.

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The Hawaii Emergency Management Agency employee responsible for sending a false missile alert to mobile phones earlier this month isn’t cooperating with a Federal Communications Commission investigation.
hawaii, false alert, sender, fcc
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2018-08-26
Friday, 26 January 2018 11:08 AM
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