US to use Twitter, Facebook to issue terror alerts
The proposal also seeks to do away with the current color-coded system for ‘Severe’, ‘High’, ‘Elevated’, ‘Guarded’ and ‘Low’ risks of terror warnings, and replace it with a two-level system.
Earlier, DHS had said, "The National Terrorism Advisory System alerts will be based on the nature of the threat: in some cases, alerts will be sent directly to law enforcement or affected areas of the private sector, while in others, alerts will be issued more broadly to the American people through both official and media channels — including a designated DHS webpage (www.dhs.gov/alerts), as well as social media channels including Facebook and via Twitter @NTASAlerts."
Use of social networks
The report suggested that DHS would use Facebook and Twitter to issue public alerts, after informing the local, state and Federal government agencies like the FBI, the National Counterterrorism Centre and the White House.
The report also stated that an alert will be issued within two hours, on the advice of a special counter-terrorism board, which will be called by DHS official within 30 minutes of finding a serious threat.
Janet Napolitano, secretary of DHS said, "When a credible threat develops that could impact the public, we will tell you and provide whatever information we can so that you know how to keep yourselves, your families and your communities safe."
The new system
Reports suggested that the proposed two-level system, if adopted, would become a simple and cleaner approach with an elevated level when there is a reasonable threat, and with an imminent level, for a more specific and anticipated terrorist attack.
The new alert system would also come with an expiration date.
Homeland security spokeswoman, Amy Kudwa said, "The plan is not yet final, as we will continue to meet and exercise with our partners to finalize a plan that meets everyone's needs."
The new system is being predicted to be operational from April 27.