United States Senators have been issued satellite phones for emergency communication in case of “a disruptive event.” This is part of a larger series of new security measures that are being offered to senators by the Senate Sergeant at Arms, Karen Gibson.

Karen Gibson, Sergeant at Arms of the United States Senate

According to CBS News, all 100 senators have been offered these satellite phones, which are being paid for with taxpayer dollars, and at least 50 have accepted. It has not, however, been disclosed which Senators have gotten the satellite phones.

Explaining the purpose of using satellite communication before the Senate Appropriations Committee last month, Gibson said it would “ensure a redundant and secure means of communication during a disruptive event” that could take out communications.

Conservatives have expressed concern on social media over the heightened preparation for emergencies or attacks on members of Congress, wondering if there is some anticipated event coming up that could take out existing communication infrastructure in the United States.

Others have questioned why only 50 Senators accepted the phones.

Lawyer and political commentator Rogan O’Handley posted about the satellite phones, questioning whether they are preparing for a pre-planned cyber attack ahead of the 2024 election.

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“Many are worried a cyber attack prior to the 2024 election would be used to justify changes in voting procedures that will benefit Joe Biden,” wrote O’Handley. “Today we learned that US Senators are being issued special satellite phones for this exact scenario. Not good.”

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Another Twitter user posted their own theory about this development, writing, “30 tons of explosive missing from a train, $290M worth of ‘anti-radiation’ medication bought by the U.S. govt and now all senators were offered a satellite phone ‘in case of major event taking out communication.’ Sit back and relax, it’s all about to burn down…”

According to the Department of Homeland Security, satellite mobile phones are “handsets that use satellites to communicate with landline, cellular, or other satellite phones in most regions of the world.”

Satellite phones are used by first responders for emergency communications when there are no landline or cellular networks, or where such networks have been damaged during a “natural disaster or man-made incident, including potential chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, or explosive events.”

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