Lawmakers Want Streaming Services To Show Emergency Alerts

Several senators have introduced a bipartisan bill that would require streaming services to show emergency alerts. The bill mainly targets Netflix and Spotify and would require the services to show emergency alerts as users are streaming content.

The Reliable Emergency Alert Distribution Improvement (READI) Act is a response to the January 2018 missile scare in Hawaii.

Ben Schantz, a Senator working on the bill says,”When a missile alert went out across Hawaii last year, some people never got the message on their phones, while others missed it on their TVs and radios. Even though it was a false alarm, the missile alert exposed real flaws in the way people receive emergency alerts.”

If approved, the READI Act will create “a system to offer emergency alerts to audio and video online streaming services”. The Act will also prohibit anyone from opting out of certain federal alerts on their phones as well as require FEMA and presidential alerts to be repeated on phones. Currently, television and radio alerts are only played once.

The bill would also be set up for reporting false alerts to the Federal Communications Commission for investigation.