The first amendment to the United States Constitution states that there is the freedom of speech and of the press. That is a right that should not be infringed upon by our government. But a test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) on November 9th at 1:00 CST will give federal authorities a power that has never existed before in our country. On this day there will be the first ever test of the EAS on a national level. For three minutes this test will allow the Director of FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Authority) to effectively shut down all television, radio, cable television, satellite radio and television and wireline video broadcasters. Why is this viewed as such a serious thing? This is being done to make sure that in an emergency one message can be sent to people about what the emergency is. Why all the fuss?
What this means is that the authority to seize control of all television and civilian communication has been taken by the executive branch of the United States government and handed to a government agency. The problem is that for the first time in history – the government can absolutely control information and speech in our country. They can do so with a simple flip of a switch. Today the switch will only be activated for a 3 minute test. But that power should never be put into the hands of any one branch of government – without serious precautions and limits to their ability to use it. There should be very serious laws governing the use of this – and even more serious penalties should it ever be misused for ANY purpose outside of a BRIEF alert of the populace.
What many are concerned about here is the ability of a partisan entity (of any party or group in existence now or in the future) to suddenly CONTROL the flow of information to the American people. If anyone decided to misuse this power they could have ABSOLUTE CONTROL over all the information the people of the United States received – with no way to rebut false information. The power it gives the presidency was NEVER meant to be wielded except in the most extreme of circumstances. Our founders would be terrified to know that a political entity of any kind, party, or distinction could do this. They would know that such power is what ultimately destroys a nation – not helps it.