Video: Getting the message from PLAN?

posted at 12:57 pm on May 18, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

Last week, we noted the rollout of the Personal Localized Alert Network or PLAN, the broadcast system that allows the government to push alerts right to your cell phone. Starting in 2012, those phones will have to have an embedded PLAN chip to allow access to local, state, and federal governments to text you about emergency situations, such as Amber Alerts for missing children. Consumers will be able to choose to opt out of all but “presidential” messages but will have to contact their cell-phone providers to do so.

In her latest Hammertime, Mary Katharine Ham produces a public-service announcement extolling the, er, virtues of PLAN:

Mary Katharine also highlights some of the messages she expects to receive, including a new terror alert level system:

Be sure to check out the rest, especially the one from TSA.

Breaking on Hot Air

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Greaaaaaat. But MKH rocks. :)

Bob's Kid on May 18, 2011 at 12:59 PM

I can’t wait for the presidential messages. Those won’t be creepy or Orwellian at all. Especially since you can’t turn them off.

amerpundit on May 18, 2011 at 1:01 PM

excellent MKH :)

could have had a text from dear leader re: donating or golfing :)

cmsinaz on May 18, 2011 at 1:02 PM

We need taxes… we see you!!!

AHAHAHAHAHAHAH!

I bet.

44Magnum on May 18, 2011 at 1:02 PM

Mary Katharine Ham produces a public-service announcement extolling the, er, virtues of PLAN:

heh. nice work MKH

ted c on May 18, 2011 at 1:07 PM

Wish I could comment, but I’d get banned for saying what I want to do say to MKH……

/I denounce myself.

Sponge on May 18, 2011 at 1:08 PM

Wow. It is a dystopia. Dear leader will be able to make announcements direct to every citizen equipped with a communications device. They can not opt out. You can not block Dear Leader’s communiques. You will hear Him speak.

keep the change on May 18, 2011 at 1:08 PM

can I text dear leader back?

“Phruck Oph”

ted c on May 18, 2011 at 1:08 PM

telescreens

ted c on May 18, 2011 at 1:08 PM

So wait; This is actually going to involve adding a CHIP into every phone?

sarc/ Wow. That’s not Orwellian or anything! /sarc

There is no way I will purchase ANY phone with a nanny chip in it. Software, OK. Since I can easily mod it out. But a CHIP??? Not gonna happen. I’ll stop using cellphones before I allow that crap.

I suspect there will be a burgeoning market for “modded” phones with no nanny chip in them very shortly.

wearyman on May 18, 2011 at 1:09 PM

Well done.

myrenovations on May 18, 2011 at 1:12 PM

I don’t text and so have a dumb question. Will I be charged for receiving a text message if I don’t pay for a texting package? That will really burn me!

bopbottle on May 18, 2011 at 1:14 PM

It’s only until the implanted chips can be made smaller, more powerful, and more sophisticated. Once they perfect those, you won’t even have to think about it. You’ll just find yourself walking in the “proper” direction, to “safety.”

RBMN on May 18, 2011 at 1:16 PM

“Emergency messages”.

Yeah, right.
But I guess it explains the PSA I have seen several times here in CA. “Those that qualify” can receive free cell phones from the State. Because communication is important. Especially when they are trying to control your mind as well as your life.

sgtstogie on May 18, 2011 at 1:17 PM

“Hello. This is President Obooba. This message is to inform you that the Republicans are outa control. Push 1 if you agree, push 2 if you disagree.”

Akzed on May 18, 2011 at 1:18 PM

It will be much worse.

Love the purse.

lonestar1 on May 18, 2011 at 1:18 PM

I figure 15 minutes after this intrusion is operational, there will be a score of apps to cut off the messages on the market and for the really serious, an easy to understand set of ‘how to’ steps to remove the silly chip.

JIMV on May 18, 2011 at 1:22 PM

Why haven’t I heard of any GOP opposition to this police state action?

madmonkphotog on May 18, 2011 at 1:22 PM

Just wait until they use your big screen television to broadcast daily messages from Big Brother.

Vashta.Nerada on May 18, 2011 at 1:23 PM

Is it coincidence that PLAN also stands for Peoples Liberation Army Navy (the ChiCom navy)?

Seriously, nicely done by The Hammer.

Steve Eggleston on May 18, 2011 at 1:24 PM

I don’t text and so have a dumb question. Will I be charged for receiving a text message if I don’t pay for a texting package? That will really burn me!

bopbottle on May 18, 2011 at 1:14 PM

Damn good question.

Steve Eggleston on May 18, 2011 at 1:25 PM

Are restaurants helping to condition to receive government texts? I just ate at one that sent me a text instead of handing me a pager.

http://www.bluecollarphilosophy.com/2011/05/are-restaurants-conditioning-us-to-receive-mandatory-government-texts.html

Wave of the future?

Blue Collar Todd on May 18, 2011 at 1:26 PM

Does the Presidential message turn every cell phone and other communication device ON whenever?

When that day arrives, can you reject by not owning any device?

Sir Napsalot on May 18, 2011 at 1:36 PM

i called my Verizon rep this morning. She had no clue about PLAN, chips, or texting cost. Apparently, Verizon didn’t think it would be necessary to prepare the staff for questions. While I don’t relish the prospect of giving up cell service, I certainly can do it, and will if I can’t figure out how to mod any new phone I might acquire.
I’m not putting up with this crap. Period. It’s a bridge too far.
I got nekkid scanned AND patted down both ways on my trip to a friend’s funeral this past weekend, and I ain’t feeling too cooperative with Big Brother right now.

sandspur on May 18, 2011 at 1:42 PM

How long until the demands begin for the government to purchase a cell phone for everyone??

MKH: Seriously love the handbag!

TN Mom on May 18, 2011 at 1:42 PM

Just a reminder. Cell phones are used to detonate IED’s. Now the terrorist can rig their bombs and wait for a message from Dear Leader telling everybody that everything is peachy keen to do their dirty work. Not a real good idea to whatever braintrust came up with this idea.

Of course working on the bomb squad just got more interesting.

Just A Grunt on May 18, 2011 at 1:45 PM

I knew there was a good reason I never wanted a cell phone. Time proves everything. They can try to track me, but it won’t work.

NJ Red on May 18, 2011 at 1:49 PM

sandspur on May 18, 2011 at 1:42 PM

So you must be one of those lucky ‘very very very few’.

/seriously, sorry to hear about your friend

Sir Napsalot on May 18, 2011 at 1:50 PM

“THIS IS AN ALERT FROM DEAR LEADER !
THIS IS NOT A DRILL !!
Thanks to your new high speed rail accomodations, you are hereby directed to the nearest station, where you must board the first available RAILCAR, so that your SECURITY CZAR may whisk you away from impending doom!
THIS IS MOST SERIOUS !!
THIS IS THE ONLY WAY YOU CAN ESCAPE THE MOBS ARMED WITH PITCHFORKS, BIBLES, AND HANDGUNS !!”

pambi on May 18, 2011 at 1:52 PM

I still want to know why this requires a chip. What other functionality does it possess?

stvnscott on May 18, 2011 at 1:53 PM

Are restaurants helping to condition to receive government texts? I just ate at one that sent me a text instead of handing me a pager.

Ok..I’m first to admit I’m a bit on the paranoid side, but really dude.. put away the tin foil hat.

Look at this way: Almost everyone has cellphones with text capability. Which is cheaper: Sending text to existing cell phone or having to pay for pager system that is lost, abused, broken, or stolen on a regular basis? And it means they’ve just increased the range available for waiting customers over the 3 feet in the foyer.

darury on May 18, 2011 at 1:53 PM

If government can mandate the purchase of health insurance, they can mandate the purchase of a cell phone/plan.

/Commerce Clause

Left Coast Right Mind on May 18, 2011 at 1:53 PM

PLAN is just the first step.

Next, it will be more ‘efficient and cost cutting’ at mass communication if every person gets a chip implant.

Sir Napsalot on May 18, 2011 at 1:55 PM

The weirded-out look on MKH’s face is priceless!

pookysgirl on May 18, 2011 at 1:58 PM

PLAN is just the first step.

Next, it will be more ‘efficient and cost cutting’ at mass communication if every person gets a chip implant.

Sir Napsalot on May 18, 2011 at 1:55 PM

You guys do realize that PLAN is only eery in its similiarity to the old Emergency Broadcast System, right?

gryphon202 on May 18, 2011 at 2:02 PM

Ok..I’m first to admit I’m a bit on the paranoid side, but really dude.. put away the tin foil hat.

Look at this way: Almost everyone has cellphones with text capability. Which is cheaper: Sending text to existing cell phone or having to pay for pager system that is lost, abused, broken, or stolen on a regular basis? And it means they’ve just increased the range available for waiting customers over the 3 feet in the foyer.

I let them use my phone so it’s not a full hat, more like a visor. Yeah, the cost thing is driving new technologies. But if we exposed to something in our every day life it makes it easier for the government to utilize it. Our objections to it will not be as severe.

Blue Collar Todd on May 18, 2011 at 2:08 PM

So far, I’ve resisted getting a cell phone. I just like being able to get away from business when I go out.

This is making that decision look better all the time.

trigon on May 18, 2011 at 2:10 PM

I don’t text and so have a dumb question. Will I be charged for receiving a text message if I don’t pay for a texting package? That will really burn me!

bopbottle on May 18, 2011 at 1:14 PM

Of course you will. 14 trillion dollars. Debt problem solved!

/Oboobie

NoFanofLibs on May 18, 2011 at 2:14 PM

Does the Presidential message turn every cell phone and other communication device ON whenever?

When that day arrives, can you reject by not owning any device?

Sir Napsalot on May 18, 2011 at 1:36 PM

Or you can pull the battery when you are not using it. That also has the advantage of big brother not being able to track your movements, or eavesdrop on your conversations. Or just keep it wrapped in foil, or in a steel case to block the signals.

The foil works well on the head, too.

iurockhead on May 18, 2011 at 2:15 PM

You guys do realize that PLAN is only eery in its similiarity to the old Emergency Broadcast System, right?

gryphon202 on May 18, 2011 at 2:02 PM

The EBS was pretty much for use only if Ivan or his minions decided to start WW3, not for propaganda or frivolous nonsense. This will be the Presidential version of Twitter.

Uncle Sams Nephew on May 18, 2011 at 2:16 PM

Where have I been? This is news to me.

“Put down the candy bar”
-Dept of HHS

tommer74 on May 18, 2011 at 2:17 PM

What is the function of the PLAN chip, and why is one needed to enable receiving government messages?

Kenosha Kid on May 18, 2011 at 2:17 PM

The man from PLAN

It just rhymes

Kini on May 18, 2011 at 2:20 PM

One commenter asked a very good question. Why a chip? With the proper cooperation from the various wireless carriers this could be implemented now with no chip or changes to your phone.

On a similar note. Texas has spent a gob of money on interactive road signs to support alerts. So we could have saved all that and used the proposed system instead. What a waste.

Dr. Dog on May 18, 2011 at 2:22 PM

Can we ‘opt’ out by removing the chip? If we don’t want the service, why then do we even need the chip in our phone? Better yet, why don’t they just create an app for it? Then all those liberal bunnies can get much needed luv from their leader all the time…

Ltlgeneral64 on May 18, 2011 at 2:24 PM

I expect that the narcissist in chief won’t be able to resist using this for campaigning, and he’ll have no idea why his poll numbers start plummeting immediately thereafter.

LarryD on May 18, 2011 at 2:27 PM

Don’t ask me how this is possible but I had kind of forgotten how pretty MKH is. It must be old age.

Anyway, more Ham at HotAir!

Benaiah on May 18, 2011 at 2:32 PM

Consumers will be able to choose to opt out of all but “presidential” messages …

Um, *what*?

Um, f@#$ no.

Seriously – the kind of thinking that leads people to propose systems like this really ought to scare the hell out of the rest of us.

Hey, when these messages come through, shouldn’t they really force our cars to come to a standstill so we can safely view/read the message – I mean, it’s *really* important that we get the message, right, so it can’t wait! Otherwise, they’d be negligently endangering everyone on the road, so new chips in our cars are required.

Hell, why not mandate that all TV’s and radios be able to be remotely turned on from the WH and channels changed automatically so that citizens don’t miss any ‘presidential’ addresses? Heavens, what if it’s the middle of the night and the ‘president’ needs to tell us something!

Midas on May 18, 2011 at 2:35 PM

“Hello. This is President Obooba. This message is to inform you that the Republicans are outa control. Push 1 if you agree, push 2 if you disagree.”

Akzed on May 18, 2011 at 1:18 PM

The kicker is that pressing 1 authorizes a $200 donation to the Democratic Party to be billed to your phone company. Pressing two increases the amount by $50 and refusing to press an option is authorization for a $500 donation.

Pattosensei on May 18, 2011 at 2:35 PM

When that day arrives, can you reject by not owning any device?

Sir Napsalot on May 18, 2011 at 1:36 PM

Nah, the new ObamaCommieCation plan will include a universal coverage mandate, requiring everyone to have a cell phone whether they want one or not. No removable batteries, with remote ‘switch on’ capability from somewhere in DC to make sure you don’t miss any ‘presidential’ messages.

Midas on May 18, 2011 at 2:38 PM

“Put down the candy bar”
-Dept of HHS

tommer74 on May 18, 2011 at 2:17 PM

“And step away from the 7-11″
“directions to the nearest Whole Foods from where you are, comin right up”

inviolet on May 18, 2011 at 2:52 PM

iurockhead on May 18, 2011 at 2:15 PM

Looks like I need to invest more on my tin foil hat upgrade.

Sir Napsalot on May 18, 2011 at 2:54 PM

Consumers will be able to choose to opt out of all but “presidential” messages but will have to contact their cell-phone providers to do so.

“Imagine if Bush did this…” DJ Tiesto Remix # 13,273

inviolet on May 18, 2011 at 2:54 PM

That is why I keep my phone in a small metal box.

Slowburn on May 18, 2011 at 2:56 PM

The embed chip will not doubt have the ability to subliminally message you while exchanging pictures etc as well as override the ‘off’ setting and play propaganda messages from Big Brother while you sleep.

JimP on May 18, 2011 at 3:00 PM

Don’t ask me how this is possible but I had kind of forgotten how pretty MKH is. It must be old age.

Anyway, more Ham at HotAir!

Benaiah on May 18, 2011 at 2:32 PM

LOL! My husband claims it is her after marriage “glow.”

bopbottle on May 18, 2011 at 3:07 PM

The EBS was pretty much for use only if Ivan or his minions decided to start WW3, not for propaganda or frivolous nonsense. This will be the Presidential version of Twitter.

Uncle Sams Nephew on May 18, 2011 at 2:16 PM

Actually, the EBS was formed expressly for the purpose of transmitting “presidential” messages, and that is the only level of message that participating broadcast stations may not opt out of. That the EBS was never used for that level of message is incidental.

gryphon202 on May 18, 2011 at 3:09 PM

It’ll be “Hammertime” for my cell phone if an unwanted government message comes across without my ability to block it.

Seriously. Sledgehammer time for the phone, or find out “will it blend“.

hillbillyjim on May 18, 2011 at 3:35 PM

How soon ’til Big Brother makes it illegal to remove a battery from a cell phone (for environmental reasons, of course)?

Costa Rica is looking better and better.

hillbillyjim on May 18, 2011 at 3:43 PM

This whole PLAN “chip” thing bothers me. The government already has access to messaging on cell phones. “Reverse 911″ is one example, where whole communities can be notified in an emergency. The phone does not need any additional hardware in order to support messaging.

Why does the government need a piece of embedded hardware and just exactly what is the *entire* purpose of this hardware and the software driving it, and can I turn it off?

crosspatch on May 18, 2011 at 3:44 PM

Why does the government need a piece of embedded hardware and just exactly what is the *entire* purpose of this hardware and the software driving it, and can I turn it off?

crosspatch on May 18, 2011 at 3:44 PM

Agreed. The chip is totally unnecessary unless they want to turn your phone on remotely or something more sinister.

I’m going with something more sinister.

hillbillyjim on May 18, 2011 at 3:48 PM

As crazy as he is in some ways, it looks like Stallman was spot on about this.

AbeFroman on May 18, 2011 at 3:53 PM

Obviously, a bunch of brand-new phones are going to be on my Christmas list this year! I can see the conversation:
“Hey, Dad, can I have a Blackberry? and an iPhone? and a basic phone, please? Yes, all this year.”
“Why, Roxe?”
“Um, because I won’t have to buy an Obama-text-enabled phone until at least 2018 if I stockpile now.”
“There’s a good two-for-one deal at Verizon. How about I buy six of them, and we’ll share in case either of us breaks one?”
“Sayeth the wise man who told me, way back in elementary school, that Ronald Reagan was the greatest President in his lifetime.”

Roxeanne de Luca on May 18, 2011 at 4:11 PM

Scratch that – I already asked for a lifetime worth of incandescent light bulbs. Sigh.

Roxeanne de Luca on May 18, 2011 at 4:12 PM

I still want to know why this requires a chip. What other functionality does it possess?

stvnscott on May 18, 2011 at 1:53 PM

No chip is required. Can you receive text messages now? Obvious ploy at controlling the phones.

He wants to be able to shut cell phones off when he wants to.

dogsoldier on May 18, 2011 at 5:50 PM

I suspect it requires a chip because this would require some new kind of broadcast protocol, that would go to all phones at once, in a one-way transmission. Polling for phones present and then calling them one by one would take much too long and tie up bandwidth. A broadcast of course ties up bandwidth but only for a very short time.

Yes, it makes us wonder what else the chip will do. Maybe turn off phones during disasters so only the ruling elite will have phones that work? Maybe let the gummint know that you are at a TEA Party rally?

slickwillie2001 on May 18, 2011 at 7:02 PM

slickwillie2001 on May 18, 2011 at 7:02 PM

That polling description isn’t how it works. Messages can already be sent out to all the phones from an email application using a mailing list, no chip required. No dialing is required either, not in the sense of making a voice call.

There is only one necessity for an extra piece of equipment, that is a new chip. To control the phone.

dogsoldier on May 18, 2011 at 7:35 PM

This is all about being able to text the brain dead Ozombies to go to the polls. The text’s will begin at 12:01 AM Tuesday, November 6, 2012. The 0Bast*rd administration will consider it a national emergency (or some other excuse will be used)…
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After that, if Barry loses… texts will be sent requesting peace in the streets (code for take to the streets)…
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Do not doubt me on this.
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RalphyBoy on May 18, 2011 at 8:56 PM

It’ll be “Hammertime” for my cell phone if an unwanted government message comes across without my ability to block it.

Seriously. Sledgehammer time for the phone, or find out “will it blend“.

hillbillyjim on May 18, 2011 at 3:35 PM

-
I half jokingly told my boss that I’d get another job if they ‘made’ me get a cell phone. Gave mine up years ago. The only time I missed it was duringthe g’kids births. And I used a track phone for a bit then (like $40 per birth).
-
I got rid of it because I started to hate being so easy to get-a-hold-of. Soooo… all this awesome new cell phone news is really making me chuckle…
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RalphyBoy on May 18, 2011 at 9:04 PM