What is IT Alert, how it works and why it's not dangerous

EN Alert logo

The arrival of a remarkable technological evolution has already marked its entry through a series of tests in Italy. The advanced warning system, Named EN Alert, presented itself as a revolutionary solution in the field of emergency notifications, proposing an information method characterized byeffectiveness and quickness Without precedents.

Despite this, doubts remain about the reality innovativeness of this system. It is pertinent to question its actual relevance as technological innovation. Furthermore, the validity of the conspiracy theories surrounding IT Alert. It is therefore essential to begin an in-depth analysis, starting from foundations of this system already in the testing phase.

What is an IT Alert?

An IT Alert is an emergency message that arrives directly on your smartphone along with a loud warning sound, such as a siren. This warning system was designed to warn the population emergency situations, such as natural disasters, terrorist attacks or other threats to public safety.

How does IT Alert work?

The operation of IT Alerts is simple but effective. These emergency messages are sent via a broadcasting system that reaches all cell phones present in a certain area.

You don't need to download any apps or subscribe to a specific service to receive these alerts. Furthermore, the IT Alerts they will have no costs for users and will not consume your phone credit or internet data.

What does it mean that it comes via a broadcasting system?

A broadcast is thesending information to multiple devices without these coming in any way identified and without having to confirm receipt. It is in fact an activity of mass sending of a message without there being a real data exchange, in fact the information travels only in one direction: from the antenna to the connected telephones.

What events are notified via IT Alert?

IT Alerts can be triggered for a number of risk events, as indicated in the Directive of 7 February 2023:

  • Tsunami generated by an earthquake
  • Heavy rains
  • Collapse of a large dam
  • Volcanic activity, for Vesuvius, Campi Flegrei, Vulcano and Stromboli
  • Nuclear accidents or radiological emergency situation
  • Major accidents in establishments subject to the so-called Seveso Directive

Does IT Alert violate privacy and is it a control tool?

As already explained it is a broadcast system, i.e. the message is sent automatically by the antennas to all the devices connected to them a priori regardless of their nature (telephones, tablets, routers, etc).

Since the signal is only output, the antenna will not receive any information from the device, therefore it is absolutely wrong to think that it is a tracking system that violates privacy.

Furthermore, unlike abroad, IT Alert messages can be deactivated.
But who doesn't want to be notified that there is a fire in the area?

All cell phones have already been set up for over twenty years to this type of messages, it is even a present setting even in older Nokias with black and white screen.
This is because abroad it has been a technology that has been in use for a very long time.

How do I disable IT Alert messages?

Keeping that in mind there is little point in disabling them, given that not being notified for the disappearance of people and children, fires, tidal waves or who knows what, is not very logical, it is still possible to deactivate the messages.

Contrary to what many think, deactivation is absolutely possible and there is no imposition. Who says otherwise simply confuses “presidential messages” with IT Alert messages.

In general, the deactivation varies from smartphone to smartphone, but it is sufficient to go to the device settings and look for the item Emergencies, from there it is possible to deactivate the messages.

What are presidential messages and why can't they be deactivated?

On some devices, under emergencies, there are the "presidential messages“, a form of alert which cannot be deactivated in any way, often compared to Amber Alerts.

Many think that presidential messages are IT Alerts, but as the word says, they are called presidential because they refer to messages from the President of the United States. Obviously these messages do not arrive in Italy.

Simply the smartphone is prepared for the American system, where these messages are mandatory, but not being in the United States the feature will never be active.

An example of use abroad: the Amber Alert in the United States

In the United States, a similar warning system has already proven its effectiveness. Amber Alert, named in honor of little Amber Hagerman, who disappeared in 1996, is a national alert system in the event of a missing minor.

How does the Amber Alert work?

The Amber Alert is a notification that originally interrupted radio and television broadcasts and that today it also arrives on the cell phones of those within a certain range when a minor goes missing.

This system it has saved the lives of hundreds of children, thanks to the speed with which information is disseminated and the collaboration of citizens.

We have personally tried the Amber system in the USA, as European users we didn't have to do anything: the message arrived automatically to all devices connected to the network, preceded by a loud alarm sound.

The importance of an alert system in Italy

In Italy, the need for an early warning system is evident. Every day, on average, 47 minors disappear. In 2022 alone, reports of people vanishing into thin air, under the age of 18, were over 17.000.

An alert system such as IT Alerts or the Amber Alert could make a big difference in finding these missing people.

What can technology do for us?

Technology can play a key role in improving the safety and security of citizens. With the implementation of IT Alerts, Italy will have a powerful tool at its disposal to rapidly disseminate crucial information in the event of an emergency.

This can be the difference between life and death in critical situations.

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Written by Matteo Morreale
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