Jeralyn Merritt, whom I really should read more often:
[A] project of the West Virginia Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management and the West Virginia Intelligence Fusion Center, the app sends submitted information, including photos and texts, to the Fusion Center where the information can help authorities react to and prevent incidents from occurring.
What’s wrong with this? As Spencer says:
There’s nothing in the app to stop you from snapping a picture of your annoying neighbor and sending it to the attention of federal and state counterterrorism agents in West Virginia, who can keep information on your neighbor’s face, body and perhaps his vehicle for an unspecified period of time.
As Spencer notes, W. Virginia is hardly a hotbed of terrorism. And this isn’t just happening in West Virginia. The Department of Homeland Security has its “If You See Something, Say Something” program. Here is its current list of partners.
One last bit from Jeralyn:
Key questions: How long is information retained? What are the procedures for the review, purge, and destruction of information? How does an individual find out what information has been submitted and collected about him or her? What information can be shared with third parties outside of government?
In the Sixties, there was a quip, “Don’t turn on your neighbor… turn on your neighbor!” These days, the quip still applies… with the meanings of “turn on” switched. O tempora, o mores!
AFTERTHOUGHT: Or perhaps it’s simply “Don’t turn on your neighbor… turn in your neighbor!”