FCC Chairman Ajit Pai: Investigation into ‘absolutely unacceptable’ Hawaii missile alert is underway

Going to Hawaii is always a Good Thing.

But being in Hawaii and getting an alert that a missile attack is imminent? Not so much.

And the emergency message that crossed TV screens, radio broadcasts and blew up cellphones across Hawaii on Saturday saying that the island chain was in the path of an incoming missile was enough to send the locals, and tourists, into a panic in fear that Hawaii, and all of its beaches and scenery, was about to turn into a big ash pile in the middle of the Pacific.

Fortunately, Saturday’s notice was a false alarm. Unfortunately, as everyone knows by now, it took almost 40 minutes for Hawaii officials to rescind the warning and let one and all there know that they were safe.

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And it was that delay, attributed to “human error,” that raised the ire of all those thinking a missile was on its way, and those about 5,000 miles away in Washington, D.C., too. One of those folks who was rather upset about the situation was Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai.

Pai, who has led the charge for the repeal of net neutrality protocols, was anything but neutral in his feelings about the mistaken alert, and the length of time it took for the attack warning to be repealed. Pai took to Twitter on Sunday, and called the situation “absolutely unacceptable.”

Separately, Hawaii Gov. David Inge said the error occurred when someone “pushed the wrong button” during a shift change involving Hawaii state emergency services. Based on the cataclysmic theme of the attack warning, it’s probably safe to say that someone “pushed the wrong button” may end up being the understatement of the year when 2018 is over.

As Pai said in his statement, the FCC’s investigation into the matter is “well underway.”

Photo: This Saturday, Jan. 13, 2018, photo provided by Jhune Liwanag shows a highway median sign broadcasting a message of “There is no threat” in Kaneohe, Hawaii. State emergency officials mistakenly sent out an emergency alert warning of an imminent missile strike, sending islanders into a panic. (Jhune Liwanag via AP)


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