The employee who sent a false missile attack alert in Hawaii earlier this month believed a real attack was occurring.
FCC investigators said Tuesday that the mistake was the result of a miscommunication between the employee who sent the alert and a supervisor. The supervisor intended for the alert to be an “exercise,” but also accidentally added the phrase “this is not a drill.”
The employee did not hear the supervisor use the word “exercise” in a recorded message, and thus issued the alert to the entire population of Hawaii.
The employee is currently refusing to cooperate with the FCC investigation into the incident, though the agency was given a written statement from the employee from the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency.
At a recent commission hearing, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai stressed the need for new safeguards to prevent further false alerts.
“[Every state and local government] should ensure that it has adequate safeguards in place to prevent the transmission of false alerts, and each should have a plan in place for how to immediately correct a false alert,” Pai said.