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).

Filed Under: , ,

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

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

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
Free Capitalistsays:

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!

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 ­čśë 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.


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.

Leave a Reply to Free Capitalist Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop ┬╗

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...
Older Stuff
13:40 It's Great That Winnie The Pooh Is In The Public Domain; But He Should Have Been Free In 1982 (Or Earlier) (35)
12:06 Norton 360 Now Comes With Crypto Mining Capabilities And Sketchy Removal Process (28)
10:45 Chinese Government Dragnet Now Folding In American Social Media Platforms To Silence Dissent (14)
10:40 Daily Deal: The 2022 Ultimate Cybersecurity Analyst Preparation Bundle (0)
09:29 A Fight Between Facebook And The British Medical Journal Highlights The Difficulty Of Moderating 'Medical Misinformation' (9)
06:29 Court Ruling Paves The Way For Better, More Reliable Wi-Fi (4)
20:12 Eighth Circuit (Again) Says There's Nothing Wrong With Detaining Innocent Minors At Gunpoint (15)
15:48 China's Regulatory War On Its Gaming Industry Racks Up 14k Casualties (10)
13:31 Chinese Government Fines Local Car Dealerships For Surveilling While Not Being The Government (5)
12:08 Eric Clapton Pretends To Regret The Decision To Sue Random German Woman Who Listed A Bootleg Of One Of His CDs On Ebay (29)
10:44 ICE Is So Toxic That The DHS's Investigative Wing Is Asking To Be Completely Separated From It (29)
10:39 Daily Deal: The 2022 Complete Raspberry Pi And Arduino Developer Bundle (0)
09:31 Google Blocked An Article About Police From The Intercept... Because The Title Included A Phrase That Was Also A Movie Title (24)
06:22 Wireless Carriers Balk At FAA Demand For 5G Deployment Delays Amid Shaky Safety Concerns (16)
19:53 Tenth Circuit Denies Qualified Immunity To Social Worker Who Fabricated A Mother's Confession Of Child Abuse (35)
15:39 Sci-Hub's Creator Thinks Academic Publishers, Not Her Site, Are The Real Threat To Science, And Says: 'Any Law Against Knowledge Is Fundamentally Unjust' (34)
13:32 Federal Court Tells Proud Boys Defendants That Raiding The Capitol Building Isn't Covered By The First Amendment (25)
12:14 US Courts Realizing They Have A Judge Alan Albright Sized Problem In Waco (17)
10:44 Boston Police Department Used Forfeiture Funds To Hide Purchase Of Surveillance Tech From City Reps (16)
10:39 Daily Deal: The Ultimate Microsoft Excel Training Bundle (0)
09:20 NY Senator Proposes Ridiculously Unconstitutional Social Media Law That Is The Mirror Opposite Of Equally Unconstitutional Laws In Florida & Texas (25)
06:12 Telecom Monopolies Are Exploiting Crappy U.S. Broadband Maps To Block Community Broadband Grant Requests (7)
12:00 Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of 2021 At Techdirt (17)
10:00 Gaming Like It's 1926: Join The Fourth Annual Public Domain Game Jam (6)
09:00 New Year's Message: The Arc Of The Moral Universe Is A Twisty Path (33)
19:39 DHS, ICE Begin Body Camera Pilot Program With Surprisingly Good Policies In Place (7)
15:29 Remembering Techdirt Contributors Sherwin And Elliot (1)
13:32 DC Metro PD's Powerful Review Panel Keeps Giving Bad Cops Their Jobs Back (6)
12:11 Missouri Governor Still Expects Journalists To Be Prosecuted For Showing How His Admin Leaked Teacher Social Security Numbers (39)
10:48 Oversight Board Overturning Instagram Takedown Of Ayahuasca Post Demonstrates The Impossibility Of Content Moderation (10)
More arrow
This site, like most other sites on the web, uses cookies. For more information, see our privacy policy. Got it