Lawsuit against President, FEMA claims Presidential Alert System violates rights

Photo: Federal Emergency Management Administration

(WZTV) - A lawsuit against President Donald Trump and the Federal Emergency Management Agency has been filed in New York, calling The Presidential Alert System a violation of First and Fourth Amendment rights.

Filed by a journalist, single mother, and small business owner, the suit argues The Presidential Alert System "violates" rights because it is tantamount to "hijacking private property for the purpose of planting a Government-controlled loudspeaker in the home and on the person of every American."

The system will work like AMBER Alerts, pushing messages from the President to mobile phones. FEMA has previously stated the alerts are only for national emergencies. A test of the system is expected to take place Wednesday, October 3rd.

However, the plaintiffs in the suit are making an effort to stop the alert system. Among the general concerns, the suit states Integrated Public Alert and Warning System Modernization Act -which became law in 2015- is vague and could be biased. The suit states the definitions of "threat to public safety" and "act of terrorism" in the act don't clearly define when it can be used, opening the door for officials such as President Trump to define it as they see fit and potentially "broadcasting arbitrary, biased, irrational, and/or content-based messages to hundreds of millions of people."

Specifically, the plaintiffs argue Government-mandated listening is a "hallmark of a Totalitarian state," and claims it gives the Oval Office the ability to weaponize disinformation.


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