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On October 4, 2018, Jamie Barnett was quoted in Communications Daily in an article about how most cellphones appeared to receive test messages and most broadcasters appeared to transmit emergency alert system (EAS) messages, but a number did not with early results of the fourth nationwide test of the broadcast EAS largely as expected and mirrored past tests. On Twitter, #PresidentialAlert trended following the first nationwide test of the wireless emergency alert (WEA) system Wednesday, which started at 2:18 p.m. and lasted for 30 minutes, while the EAS test began at 2:20 p.m.

A federal judge in New York City in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York rejected and denied motions to halt the test, stemming from claims of government-compelled listening and trespassing into cellular devices that violate the First and Fourth Amendments, sparking some on Twitter to use the hashtag #GoDark103 to urge people to protest by keeping their phones off or in airplane mode during the test.

Mr. Barnett said, "I expect there will be some glitches and that is exactly why we need to have this type of nationwide test, to identify and correct problems. Need for the national alert system outweighs possible dangers. We still live in a world with threats to our nations and increasingly widespread natural disasters like the one in Indonesia. We need a warning system that works well and instantaneously and in more than one language. Any system can be misused, I suppose, but that is a different question than 'Does the system work?'"