Can You Save the World with the 'Patriot App'

Looking for the perfect holiday gift for the James Bond in your life? Nothing says "ho, ho, ho" like the "PatriotApp," a new state-of-the-art iPhone app that transforms the everyday citizen into a crime-fighting, smartphone-weilding Homeland Security official, well, sort of.

Looking for the perfect holiday gift for the James Bond in your life? Nothing says “ho, ho, ho” like the “PatriotApp,” a new state-of-the-art iPhone app that transforms the everyday citizen into a crime-fighting, smartphone-weilding Homeland Security official, well, sort of.

The PatriotApp links your phone to U.S. security and law enforcement agencies via the Internet and allows you to report anything you want at the touch of a button.

See someone boarding a plane that looks suspicious? Click on the suspicious activity icon on the app and report the person directly to the FBI. See someone sending pollutants down a local storm drain? You can report them to directly to the Environmental Protection Agency.

And that’s obviously something that appeals to a lot of iPhone users. The app debuted in September and has been downloaded about 400 times per day since December 10th alone.

The app lets users report government waste, inspect the FBI’s “Most Wanted” list, view the national threat advisory warning, and highlight their concerns via their Facebook and Twitter pages.

Named after the controversial Patriot Act passed by Congress after 9/11, the app is already facing criticism as a “Big Brother” type device could easily lead to abuse and do more harm than good.

But PatriotApp’s designers, Florida-based software firm Citizen Concepts, described as former Department of Homeland Security “insiders,” argue it was “founded on the belief that citizens can provide the most sophisticated and broad network of eyes and ears necessary to prevent terrorism.”

By tapping into federal tip lines, the app easily routes users’ reports to the appropriate government agency, something its creators say the government should have been doing already.

“All we did was leverage current existing government outlets. If government was truly focused on open access, they would’ve done the same thing,” creator Charles Reinighaus told SecurityNewsDaily. “The whole intent is to benefit society and give citizens an active role in participating in their own security rather than abdicating themselves to government – to put the people back into ‘we the people.'”

The app is currently available only on the iPhone and iPad but, fear not, other crime-fighting smartphone users, a version for Android based systems should be available soon.

And because nothing says the holidays like reporting on your fellow neighbor, the company has made the app a free download for the holidays in the iTunes app store. After the first of the year, the price will likely go back up to the regular $1.99 price.