NY Governor Announces App Version Of State's 'See Something, Say Something' Program

from the swipe-left-to-report-as-potential-terrorist dept

Seizing on a terrorist attack halfway around the world, the governor of New York has vowed to make his state safer by adding more bodies to the NYPD’s overstuffed counterterrorism units and, as is the style of the time, introduced an app that will allow any New York resident to report anyone with a camera near a public building, bridge, tunnel, parked car, or power line.

“See Something, Send Something” allows anyone to capture suspicious activity as a photo or written note and send the information to the New York State Intelligence Center. From there, the tip will be reviewed and if relevant, sent to the appropriate law enforcement agency. Public service announcements promoting the campaign will be played at DMV offices and service areas along state highways.

By using the app, which can be downloaded for free for iPhone and Android phone users, there is no worry about who to send the tip to or what phone number to call—users can simply send a photo of the suspicious activity using their device’s camera, by choosing a photo from its library, or sending a written note. It also includes information on what to look for and when to report suspicious activity. The service is already available in Colorado, Louisiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia.

The governor’s press release reminds New Yorkers that the app is for reporting of suspicious people/objects/actions only and very definitely not for criticizing the government’s terrorist hysteria or regaling local DHS Fusion Centers with an assortment of dick pics.

In order to keep the app focused on safety, users should report only suspicious behavior and situations (e.g., an unattended backpack or briefcase in a public place) rather than beliefs, thoughts, ideas, expressions, associations, or speech unrelated to terrorism or other criminal activity.

Well, good luck with that.

The office also reminds users that no matter how often they send messages about the suspicious Muslim listening to ISIS instructions on his headphones with ever-increasing amounts of exclamation points/capital letters, it will never result in local law enforcement instantly arriving to “control the scene.”

The app does not replace 911 and should not to be used for someone needing immediate police action or to report an emergency.

Not included in the press release is any disclaimer or warning that “immediate police action” may result in serious injury or death, even (or especially) if impending injury/death is what’s hoping to be prevented by the summoning of law enforcement.

The governor’s office also links to recommended reading material to better inform would-be See-Senders about the warning signs of potential terrorist activity.

Terrorist cells have been known to record and monitor activities, taking pictures and making drawings.

ALSO: new parents, artists, people with excessive amounts of time on their hands, public sector employees, everyone who possesses a smartphone, etc.

A clarifying note inside the app that will probably be read by no one adds some cautionary wording not found on the NY DHS website.

Taking pictures or video of facilities, buildings, or infrastructure in a manner that would arouse suspicion in a reasonable person…All reporting on photography should be done within the totality of the circumstances.

But acting as an extra set of eyes for a city that has millions of them — some even located in human skulls — doesn’t just help fight the War on Terror. It also helps fight the War on… Fire.

Being observant supports homeland security and fire prevention efforts.

If nothing else, the app comes highly recommended by someone who watches a lot of cable news programming.

This App was on Cnn, Cnbc, Msnbc.. Due to IsIs we have to do all we can to protect ourselves

The app itself has been around since January 2013. Despite that, it’s apparently still only usable in six states. And there seems to be no information available on how many suspicious activity reports the app has generated, much less if it’s actually resulted in any attacks prevented.

What it is, though, is “something,” the favorite activity of politicians looking to capitalize on tragic events. My Mobile Witness is nothing more than “Do Something: the App.” It gives those who feel they need a direct line to local DHS offices something to do with their idle fingers/paranoia and gives the state’s top legislator something to say in the wake of the Paris attacks. Everybody wins… except maybe those who are accosted/arrested for whipping out their sketch pad within eyeshot of a public structure.

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Comments on “NY Governor Announces App Version Of State's 'See Something, Say Something' Program”

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Personanongrata says:

Peek- A-Boo Preet Bharara See's You

NY Governor Announces App Version Of State’s ‘See Something, Say Something’ Program

I see something:

Emboldened by Silver conviction, Bharara to indict Cuomo Jan 2nd

Three sources are confirming that Bharara intends to indict Governor Andrew Cuomo on January 2nd — along with a half dozen associates and former staffers — on public corruption, racketeering, conspiracy, and honest services fraud.

Personanongrata says:

Ooops I Forgot to Include the Link to Report

Emboldened by Silver conviction, Bharara to indict Cuomo Jan 2nd

Three sources are confirming that Bharara intends to indict Governor Andrew Cuomo on January 2nd — along with a half dozen associates and former staffers — on public corruption, racketeering, conspiracy, and honest services fraud.


tqk (profile) says:

Things to do today ...

In order to keep the app focused on safety, users should report only suspicious behavior and situations (e.g., an unattended backpack or briefcase in a public place) …

1. Go for a walk:

i) Stuff backpack.
ii) Walk to City Hall, Central PD station, Dept. of Sanitation Office, …
iii) Lean backpack against something and take pic with “ii” in background.
iv) Send pic to governor.
v) Pick up backpack and continue to next location.
vi) Alternatively, take pic of any backpack you can that you can take without owner in resulting pic.

And this looked like a good idea to someone, why exactly?

tqk (profile) says:

Re: Re: Things to do today ...

Yes, but while they want you to report unattended items that may be potential bombs, they don’t want you to report anything urgent that would require an immediate police response.

Such as a backpack with a pressure cooker inside at the finish line of the Boston Marathon? Yeah, we’ll send someone around when we have time.

Coyne Tibbets (profile) says:

Permissions: What, you worry?

So I couldn’t find a download for it (for Android). But if I could, I’m guessing the permissions needed would be something like this:

* Determine your exact location
* Determine your network state
* Monitor and change your WIFI state
* Access and modify your accounts
* Create, listen to, and delete your voicemail
* Monitor battery state
* Initiate, monitor and terminate phone calls
* Create, read, and delete text messages
* Listen via your microphone
* View via your camera
* Monitor VPN connections
* Monitor Bluetooth
* Monitor body sensors
* Install, remove, and administer applications
* Read, create or modify all your accounts
* Monitor your tasks, initiate new tasks, terminate any task
* Read and update your calendar
* Record audio and/or video
* Download, upload and change, or remove fingerprints
* Read and/or update your external storage
* Device administration

But it’s not like that list should concern you: what, you worry?

nasch (profile) says:

Re: Permissions: What, you worry?

There’s a link to it in the story. The actual list of permissions:

This app has access to:
Uses one or more of: accounts on the device, profile data
Uses the device’s location
Uses one or more of: files on the device such as images, videos, or audio, the device’s external storage
Uses the device’s camera(s)
Device ID & call information
Allows the app to determine the phone number and device IDs, whether a call is active, and the remote number connected by a call

Most of which make perfect sense. Not sure about the last one.

Monday (profile) says:

This is gonna be sweet...

SO, now there’s an App for Swatting at the Municipal, State, and Federal levels, without using Anonymous hackers.

George Zimmerman, wouldn’t have posted nude pics of his “cheating with a dirty Muslim” Girlfriend, if he had this app available to him in Floorda.

It’s been around since 2013? Now that it’s getting attention, it is gonna get really funny, really fast…

Anonymous Coward says:

Considering how politicized terrorism is right now, all we need is an “official” app that allows us to “see something say something” that allows the goobermint to single you out for dong exactly that – seeing and saying.

After all, we have a president telling us “see something say something; while is Texas they know a little bit about seeing and saying – aka CLOCK BOY.

Folks saw something and said something, and as a result, the President invited CLOCK BOY to the whitehouse to congratulate him for taking a Micronta clock out of its case and shoving it “bomb-like” into a pencil case.

Meanwhile CLOCK BOY wants $15 MILLEEON DOLLARS from the folks that saw something and said something. And Mr. President does NOT have the backs of the see’er/sayers.

So all we need now is an “official” app that allows AG Loretta Lynch to pull us out and shove us into the spotlights for seeing and saying.

Anyone that “sees something says something” with this app runs a real risk of having their life ruined. If you’re going to see-say – do it anonymously – not with an app that allows “them” to ruin you.

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