Rep. Schiff Calls for Investigation of False Alarm Missile Alert

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, is among those in Congress calling for it to investigate the false alarm text alert that warned Hawaiians over the weekend of an incoming missile strike, claiming not to be a test.

FCC chair Ajit Pai has already launched an investigation, while signaling that the issue was the state's failure to have protections against such an error.

"Congress must investigate the false ballistic missile alarm in Hawaii. An unforgivable false alarm that took 38 minutes to correct," Schiff Tweeted.

Pai was clearly on the same page. "Federal, state, and local officials throughout the country need to work together to identify any vulnerabilities to false alerts and do what’s necessary to fix them.," he said. "We also must ensure that corrections are issued immediately in the event that a false alert does go out.”

There were online reports of children being placed in storm drains for shelter and residents ducking, covering and crying. There was also footage of people running down the street that evoked 1950's movies about irradiated insects and undersea creatures, but it was clearly no laughing matter. With the tensions high between the U.S. and North Korea over the latter's nuclear program, the false alarm clearly had the frightening ring (make that a claxon) of truth to many.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.