iPhone users get government search, 'snitch' apps

Agencies offering their own functionality to iOS users

Federal agencies are starting to provide utility for your iPhone.

The Homeland Security Department and the General Services Administration have released applications on the iOS platform that can help people search government databases or report suspicious activity via their smart phones.

USA Search by GSA is the U.S. government’s official search application. The free app allows users to find information from federal, state, local, territorial and tribal governments.

In a blog post announcing the app, USA.gov says it can be used almost anywhere for anything. Examples include finding food recalls and comparing prescription medicine prices between pharmacies. 

Another iPhone app, this one from former DHS insiders and called PatriotApp, is designed to allow users to alert the appropriate people in federal agencies of suspicious activity. Dubbed the “snitch network app” by Infowars.com, the app brings all the comforts of Web 2.0 to security-minded smart-phone users.


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According to designers Citizen Concepts, PatriotApp enables citizens to record and communicate suspicious activity, environmental crime, white-collar crime, government waste, workplace harassment, public health concerns and more. It allows for picture uploads and integrates with Facebook and Twitter, and is available for $1.99 in the iTunes App Store. A search for Patriot App or Citizen Concepts in the Android Market did not yield any results.

On its homepage, Citizen Concepts states that its purpose is to “Provide instruction and increase consistency in actions while decreasing variance in human behavior to mitigate risk and error,” among other like objectives and provides support for BlackBerry, iPhone and Android phones among its products.

About the Author

Dan Rowinski is a staff reporter covering communications technologies.

Reader Comments

Wed, Dec 15, 2010

After looking at their website, PatriotApp looks more like report your neighbor as a communist rather than an effective intelligence tool. It's good to have a mechanism making it easier for the guy on the street to report activity but it needs to go through the local leos in most cases. The last thing we need are people reporting to us that their neighbors associate with the "wrong" people or some other witch hunt type of thing.

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