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Mandatory government alerts will soon interrupt iPhones on AT&T

Emergency Broadcast System
Wireless Emergency Alerts are the new Emergency Broadcast System

iPhone users on AT&T will soon be interrupted by mandatory government text message alerts, the carrier announced over the weekend.

The Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA), issued by the FCC, will come in three forms, one of which can't be turned off. While AMBER alerts for finding missing children and inclement weather and disaster alerts can be opted out of, "Presidential alerts" straight from the oval office will arrive on your phone regardless of your personal preferences.

Only users of the iPhone 4S and iPhone 5 with iOS 6.1 or higher will be subject to the government messages, which will begin arriving with the next AT&T carrier settings update.

We reached out to the FCC to find out if more carriers or devices will be updated to receive WEAs, and we'll update this blip if we hear back.

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