House panel to hold hearing on false Hawaii missile alert

House panel to hold hearing on false Hawaii missile alert
© Getty Images

The House Energy and Commerce Committee will hold a hearing with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on the false missile alert in Hawaii last week and the state of the country’s public alert systems.

The panel’s leaders announced on Tuesday that a hearing will be held “in the coming weeks.” Chairman Greg WaldenGregory (Greg) Paul WaldenRepublicans are working to close the digital divide Fauci gives Congress COVID-19 warning Fauci: We need more testing, not less MORE (R-Ore.), Ranking Member Frank Pallone Jr.Frank Joseph PalloneDem chairmen urge CMS to prevent nursing homes from seizing stimulus payments Federal watchdog finds cybersecurity vulnerabilities in FCC systems Overnight Health Care — Presented by That's Medicaid — Deal on surprise medical bills faces obstacles | House GOP unveils rival drug pricing measure ahead of Pelosi vote | Justices to hear case over billions in ObamaCare payments MORE (D-N.J.), Rep. Marsha BlackburnMarsha BlackburnSunday shows preview: Lawmakers to address alarming spike in coronavirus cases US lawmakers call on EU to label entire Hezbollah a terrorist organization Hillicon Valley: Trump tweet gets warning again | Australia under cyberattack | North Face pulls Facebook ads MORE (R-Tenn.) — the chair of the technology subcommittee — and Rep. Mike DoyleMichael (Mike) F. DoyleFCC rejects petition to probe broadcasts of Trump coronavirus briefings Bottom Line Hillicon Valley: Trump turns up heat on Apple over gunman's phone | Mnuchin says Huawei won't be 'chess piece' in trade talks | Dems seek briefing on Iranian cyber threats | Buttigieg loses cyber chief MORE (D-Pa.) — the subcommittee’s ranking Democrat — said the hearing will allow Congress to receive an update on the FCC investigation into the Hawaii incident.

“We need to make sure that a mistake like what happened in Hawaii never happens again,” the members said in a joint statement. “The upcoming hearing will be an important opportunity to hear from the commissioners as they continue to investigate the incident.”

The FCC has promised a full investigation and Chairman Ajit Pai has already pointed the finger at Hawaiian authorities for the mishap.

“We have been in close contact with federal and state officials, gathering the facts about how this false alert was issued,” Pai said in a statement on Sunday. “Based on the information we have collected so far, it appears that the government of Hawaii did not have reasonable safeguards or process controls in place to prevent the transmission of a false alert.”

Hawaii's system sent out a fake alert on Saturday that a ballistic missile was heading to the islands, sparking panic and confusion. It took authorities 38 minutes to send another alert correcting the mistake.