Feel Like Being A Neighborhood Snitch? There's An App For That!

from the pay-to-spy dept

Remember how Homeland Security was working with Walmart to post creepy video messages urging you to spy on your neighbors? Well, the folks at Homeland Security ought to be thrilled with the new “Patriot App” — which is a special (not free) iPhone app to help you spy on your neighbors. It’s not put out by the government, however. Instead, it’s just some company that thinks people are crazy enough to pay $0.99 to make it easier for you to “report suspicious behavior.” Surprisingly, the app does also have a “whistleblower” section, where you can report government waste, or discuss whistleblowing with others — just be careful not to pull a Wikileaks with it, or someone might report you to the authorities with the app as well. Still, while some folks are up in arms about this, it really seems like a silly app that I doubt too many people would actually pay for. Of course, with a name like “Patriot App,” perhaps the US government could claim a likelihood of confusion that it actually had something to do with it… (and just to cut it off before it shows up in the comments: that last sentence is a joke).

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Comments on “Feel Like Being A Neighborhood Snitch? There's An App For That!”

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Free Capitalist (profile) says:

Learning something new every day...


The $0.99 app, named after the controversial Patriot Act brought in by the U.S. government after 9/11, is designed to ?encourage active citizen participation in the War on Terror and in protecting their families and surrounding communities?, its makers Citizen Concepts claim.

Huh, $0.99? I always thought freedom costs a buck-o-five…

Who said the dollar is de-valuing!

Pierre Wolff (profile) says:

More & more snitch apps are emerging

Another one in this category, though not put out by any gov’t, is the “Drive Me Crazy” app which in effect lets users report on drivers. You can flag a driver positively (ie. courteous), negatively or use it to flirt, though w/a name like “Drive Me Crazy”, I suspect that the positive reporting is not likely to be its primary purpose 😉 Apparently, you can also leave them a message to their license plate #. Anyone can go into the system and register w/their license plate at which time it will tell them if they have messages even if they were not previously registered.

As with any of these apps, my concern is the lack of context and the room for abuse.

Anonymous Coward says:

I was playing a rather addictive game on my phone that gives you in-app credits if you install other games or apps on your handset. Some were legitimate, like the Google App. But one of the apps that gave you the most in-app credits was strangely this very app.

When I sent an email to the developer, Brooklyn Packet Co. asking about their app vetting process, the email bounced back. Maybe their email works now, but who knows.

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