“West Virginia has launched a smartphone app that’s one part clever crowdsourcing and community engagement and one part sinister report-on-your-neighbor Big Brotherism. The Suspicious Activity Reporting Application is exactly what it sounds like. See something that looks like a violation of the law, no matter how insignificant? Snap a pic, tag it with GPS, and anonymously report it to the state. Parking illegally will never be the same.
“But it’s easy to see how this could also spiral quickly into a mechanism for a lot of municipal and state waste, with police officers spending their hours checking out instances of dogs off the leash, neighbors parked in front of fire hydrants, and other trivial matters that don’t necessarily require police action. The fact that it allows tipsters to remain anonymous is also a bit troubling. No one wants to be known as the neighborhood snitch, but without any kind of accountability it seems like an easy avenue by which feuding neighbors or angry lovers or anyone else with a grudge can drag the state–needlessly and wastefully–into their disputes.”
Read the full article at Posci.
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