Feeds

Foreign Office trials emergency text service

No warnings for London riots though

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Without a trace of irony, the UK foreign office has today launched a text-alert service for overseas travellers, warning them of potential unrest so they can hurry home to the safety of the UK.

The service is being trialled with Vodafone, and will automatically send out a text message to Vodafone customers in any foreign country where there has been a natural disaster or civil unrest. Note that alerts only go to foreign countries; don't expect Vodafone to start warning Londoners to be on their guard.

The canned quote from Foreign Office Minister Jeremy Browne explains the motivation behind the service:

"The recent consular crises in Libya and Japan have demonstrated the need to deliver live travel safety messages to as many people as quickly as possible".

Given that mobile operators know where their customers are, and can contact them instantly, the service makes a lot of sense, though it will still run alongside existing Twitter and Facebook advice services.

The trial will run with Vodafone for a year, and if all goes well the service will spread to the other operators. So if you're abroad in the next 12 months and all the Vodafone customers start heading for the hills, it might be worth taking note. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
BIG FAT Lies: Porky Pies about obesity
What really shortens lives? Reading this sort of crap in the papers
Assange™ slumps back on Ecuador's sofa after detention appeal binned
Swedish court rules there's 'great risk' WikiLeaker will dodge prosecution
You think the CLOUD's insecure? It's BETTER than UK.GOV's DATA CENTRES
We don't even know where some of them ARE – Maude
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
10 threats to successful enterprise endpoint backup
10 threats to a successful backup including issues with BYOD, slow backups and ineffective security.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
The hidden costs of self-signed SSL certificates
Exploring the true TCO for self-signed SSL certificates, including a side-by-side comparison of a self-signed architecture versus working with a third-party SSL vendor.