The United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is planning to use social networks such as Facebook and Twitter to spread terror alert warnings.
DHS officials have said they may turn to social networks to spread news about new terror alerts "when appropriate," after notifying local, state and federal officials.
The current system, which comes with color codes for ‘Severe’, ‘High’, ‘Elevated’, ‘Guarded’ and ‘Low’ risks of terror threats, will be replaced by the new system which comes with two levels, elevated, when there is a credible threat against the United States and imminent, for a credible, specific and impending terrorist threat or on-going attack.
The plan is expected to go into effect on April 27.
According to the draft plan, before an official alert is issued, there is a multi-step process that must be followed, starting with intelligence sharing among multiple federal, state and local agencies, including the FBI, the National Counter terrorism Center and the White House.
If the threat is considered serious enough, a Homeland Security official will call for a meeting of a special counter terrorism advisory board. That board would be expected to meet within 30 minutes of being called. If it is decided an alert is necessary, it would need to be issued within two hours.
According to the draft, each warning would have an expiration date.