Thursday, February 9, 2012

The Push Toward a Snitch Culture: New App Enables "fast, discrete, and intelligent" Anonymous Crime Reporting

Brandon Turbeville
Activist Post
February 5, 2012

In yet another Smartphone-related push to increase the intensity of the global police state, a “new” company, CrimePush, has released a smartphone app that will allow individuals greater ability to report “crimes” in real time.
The CrimePush app, which is now available on iTunes, is being touted as “the latest in mobile technology to provide urban populations with fast, discrete, and intelligent safety assistance.” This follows on the heels of similar Big Brother apps such as PatriotApp, which merged phones with American security and law enforcement agencies via the Internet, allowing for one-touch reporting of suspicious activities that could be perceived as threats to the Homeland.
Essentially, after the free app is downloaded, one need only access the app in order to record and report a crime to police. As Anushay Hossein of Forbes describes, “A package of information including the location of the crime, photo, video, audio, and text description of the crime are sent to authorities immediately. The application also allows for users to report crime anonymously so that they may continue with their busy lives knowing that with a push of a button, police will know and have everything to pursue the criminal.”
CrimePush co-founder, Eman Pahlevani, explains the alleged importance of the app a bit further by saying:
There are often situations when calling the police is not an option. There are other times when inconvenience or fear of reprisal prevents one from reporting an incident. Featuring the ability to take a photo, record video and audio, and provide a description of the incident, citizens can now be assured that their phone has the capability to alert family, friends, and the authorities at the push of a button, should a threat arise.
Pahlevani continues, 
Often people are witnesses to crimes, such as sexual assault and robbery, but do not take the time or effort to call the police. There are other times when personal security is at stake and there is no discreet method of alert.”
While it is likely that CrimePush will receive glowing endorsements from the corporate media, law enforcement, and various trend-oriented communities (particularly those in large cities), one must pause for a moment to examine both the effectiveness of the technology, as well as its true purpose.
For instance, one must wonder if this app is any more effective at reporting true crimes (meaning violent crimes such as robbery, sexual assault, physical violence, etc.) than the technology already available. Anyone with a smartphone already has the capability to take video and audio recordings and depict incidents in text format. The only thing CrimePush does is allow that information to be sent to police faster.
However, consider for a second what this would involve. If one were to witness a sexual assault taking place, would one then whip out their smartphone and begin taking video/audio of the incident in order to send that information to police if one was afraid of being attacked themselves? Wouldn’t the act of videotaping and recording a crime thus make the individual doing the recording a likely target as well?
Not only that, but it is highly unlikely that an individual who is prone to simply ignore a violent crime taking place due to the inconvenience of the situation, will now reverse the content of their character, stick around and record the crime (which they could have done before), and then send that information on to police. Indeed, the lack of concern that the average person has for the well-being of their fellow citizen cannot be changed by virtue of a ridiculous smartphone app.
But, one might ask, what about situations in which one’s own safety is an issue?
Likewise, the idea that this new app would be useful in any practical fashion where one is in danger is comical to say the least.
Imagine for a second that you are being held up by your average run of the mill street thug. He has a gun (or knife, your choice) and is demanding your money, your car, or that you come with him. Immediately, you spring into action by whipping out your Smartphone and accessing your CrimePush app. Of course, this is presuming he hasn’t already taken your phone and that he won’t do so once you produce it.
But, for the sake of argument, let’s say you still have your phone, which you now have to begin typing on or using some other method to send your crime report to the police. You now notice the look of surprise and anger on the criminal’s face at the fact that you are using your phone during the course of being assaulted (or robbed, again your choice) so, in order to diffuse the situation and assuage his concern, you cleverly respond by saying, “It’s cool. I’m just sending a text. I’m totally not calling the police.” The police then arrive shortly thereafter and save the day. The puzzled criminal is then lead away in handcuffs wondering what could have possibly gone wrong.
Somehow, I’m just not buying that CrimePush will work this way.
However, the area in which CrimePush may be effective is in that of non-violent crimes, drug crimes, “suspicious activity,” political protest, and “subversive speech” etc. – all areas where police and other government agencies have been quite adept at pursuing, prosecuting, and convicting for many years without the aid of smartphone apps.
But while sexual assault, robbery, and murder will not likely be prevented or even successfully prosecuted by technologies such as CrimePush, crimes like drug use obviously will. Ironically, those individuals committing “crimes” which are non-violent and victimless in nature provide much less of a perceived threat in the minds of those witnessing the “crime.” It is for this reason that they are more likely to be taped and reported than an individual who is committing a real act of violence.
But, as we all know, reports to police will not be limited to criminals, violent or not. Individuals carrying weapons for self-defense are at a special risk for becoming targets of apps like CrimePush. After all, city dwellers in many areas have been trained to be generally terrified of weapons . . . at least when they are not attached to police in black stormtrooper uniforms.
Indeed, in a period where virtually every behavior can now be considered a crime, Constitutionally protected rights like free speech may even be reported to “authorities,” as apps like CrimePush become more popular amid a climate of programmed paranoia and a "See Something, Say Something" culture.
“Racist” speech or “homophobic” speech may be classified as “bullying,” the new trendy term used by a society which has been trained to be terrified of standing up for itself. Likewise for “threatening” speech which can simply be considered threatening because of the tone of voice.
Given the unbelievable levels of brainwashing experienced by Americans every day, it is highly possible that situations could occur where innocent people are reported to police simply for having a point of view that is considered outside the mainstream. A passerby, for instance, may hear a father lecturing another parent as to why their child should not be vaccinated, and why he does not vaccinate his own child. Given the right passerby, the right cop, or the right social worker, one could easily see how the ever-expanding powers of the State could then be called in via agencies like CPS to remove the child from the home.
Also notice how none of the articles in the mainstream media dealing with the release of this new app suggest the novel concept that citizens actually defend themselves from violent crime by carrying a weapon. 

This is not something you will hear from the mainstream outlets because there is a clear agenda of promoting a victimized society. A population of victims is not only unable to defend itself against criminals in their midst, it is also unable to defend itself against “authorities” who actually provide a much greater risk to its well-being.

As one can easily see, the greatest concern regarding CrimePush is not its ineffectiveness; it is the obvious attempt at enabling a culture of victimization and helplessness, as well as creating a total snitch society.
Much like the East German Stasi, and the citizen spies of Soviet Russia, the American population is being trained more with each passing day to act as snitches and spies on their fellow citizens. CrimePush is just one link in a long chain of promotions, programs, and technologies aimed at developing a culture of snitching and informing.
Indeed, even Anushay Hossein of Forbes writes that CrimePush will cause “Ordinary users to become the eyes and ears of authorities.”
Even the co-founder of the company admits that citizen spies will find the technology useful. Pahlevani states:
Opening a new channel via a mobile application, youth populations will be more motivated to provide crime tips and informants will have better tools utilizing a phone’s built-in technology to capture audio, image, or video evidence.
Does anyone seriously believe that a society where ordinary citizens are the eyes and ears of authorities, and informants are given better tools, is one that we should look forward to? Hasn't history already taught us where this leads?
Although CrimePush is currently available for download, its mass implementation is not likely to be left merely to the market. CrimePush has plans to partner at the enterprise level with law enforcement agencies, colleges and universities, high schools, and international mobile carriers. Already the company has developed relationships with the Washington DC’s Metropolitan Police Department, several Washington, DC universities, as well as the school boards of Fairfax and Loudoun Counties.   
According to the Forbes report, the first “customized safety application” released for sale will be developed for George Mason University. Releases for High Schools in Loudoun county, the fastest growing county in the nation, is scheduled for Spring.

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