18 October 2014
THE mobile phone in your hand may soon save your life in a disaster.
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) is planning to tap mobile phone networks to warn the public of danger in an emergency.
While it is not the first time the authorities have sent out SMS alerts – the police have a subscription-based crime notification system – it will be MHA’s first “location-based” system.
Under this system, warnings can be sent to active mobile phones in a particular area without users having to pre-register.
The system will allow “time-critical” messages to be broadcast in “any selected geographical area in Singapore”, according to MHA tender documents on the new system that The Straits Times obtained.
…Security expert Rohan Gunaratna supports the move.
“The public alert system can be used to warn the public both of an attack in the planning and preparation phases and also after an attack,” said the professor of security studies at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies at Nanyang Technological University.
He added that the system can also enlist the public’s help to be vigilant when required.
“Terrorists are like pickpockets. They exploit gaps and loopholes in security and public complacency,” he said.
GPO / ICPVTR / RSIS / Online / Print
Last updated on 20/10/2014