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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  • icon
    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), 20 Dec 2010 @ 9:37am

    I am amuse

    I have to wonder what the Pandemic button does.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Free Capitalist (profile), 20 Dec 2010 @ 9:40am

    Learning something new every day...

    FTA

    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!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Freak, 20 Dec 2010 @ 9:50am

      Re: Learning something new every day...

      It's still devaluing.

      It buys a lot less freedom than it used to.

      Used to be, I might pay $1.50 for a full 550 mL of freedom, but now my $0.99 only gets me a 225 mL

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Free Capitalist (profile), 20 Dec 2010 @ 9:54am

        Re: Re: Learning something new every day...

        Used to be, I might pay $1.50 for a full 550 mL of freedom, but now my $0.99 only gets me a 225 mL

        Frak, I need to read the labels on this stuff. Yet another reason to avoid Chinese made generic medications...

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Joe Imperial Measures, 20 Dec 2010 @ 2:19pm

        Re: Re: Learning something new every day...

        Milileter?
        Milileter?

        You should be glad I can't get an iPhone yet, because you're obviously some kind of Canadian traitor.

        Real Americans use ounces!

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Pierre Wolff (profile), 20 Dec 2010 @ 9:59am

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Dec 2010 @ 10:11am

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Dec 2010 @ 10:25am

    I think you also get a tin foil hat for that $0.99 as well (or you should).
    I think the app also gives you access to your neighbors
    http://www.wimp.com/spyfind

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Overcast (profile), 20 Dec 2010 @ 11:38am

    Patriot App.. LOL

    More like the Nazi App, TBH. Funny how everything that's being used to yank away freedoms and make us more like a tyranny is called 'patriot' - like the 'patriot act' - that any real Patriot would be appalled at.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Anshar (profile), 20 Dec 2010 @ 12:30pm

    In Capitalist America...

    ...app spys on you?
    I wonder how long before the news gets out that while people are using this app to report on others, it's secretly reporting on them.

    Yeah, I'm a cynic and a tiny bit paranoid. But then, I've always found irony to be the best way to predict the future.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Cixelsid (profile), 20 Dec 2010 @ 4:22pm

    Snitching is ok as long as you do it on your fellow citizens and not your government.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    abc gum, 21 Dec 2010 @ 5:02am

    This just in:

    Cell Phone providers profit from stalking.
    Film at eleven.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    akston, 21 Dec 2010 @ 2:32pm

    It's practically put out by the govt

    Considering the increased privatization of the US intel complex, it's worth noting that the 'PatriotApps' founders are ex-DHS staffers and others. It's on their site.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Ike Iszany, 30 Dec 2010 @ 5:56am

    Douchebag driver alert

    My friend and I had an idea for an app where you can report douchebag drivers. You see someone driving like an idiot you take a picture of their car and when they get ten alerts a cop goes and gives them a ticket.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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