Friday, 01 April 2011

Smart Phone App Panic Button for Rebels

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The U.S. government is in the process of developing a Smart phone application that effectively wipes a mobile phone clean of any information pertaining to the owner’s revolutionary “democratic movement” that may be discovered by government or military officials, and sends a single last-minute text message to the rest of the revolutionaries warning them of the capture of the cell phone’s owner, as well as that person’s location.

The Blaze reports:

Uncle Sam is not only in the business of possibly arming the rebels in Libya and other countries, he is also providing support for their cell phones. We may even be giving them the cell phones. After all, as evidenced by the "Assure Wireless" program, for years the government has seen cellular service as something of an entitlement to be provided to people in need.

The State Department has endorsed this initiative:

The initiative is part of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s push to expand internet freedoms following the pro-democracy movements in Iran, Egypt, Tunisia, and elsewhere.

Assistant Secretary of State Michael Posner told Reuters, however, “We’ve been trying to keep below the radar on this because a lot of the people we are working with are operating in very sensitive environments.”

The technology apparently was first developed in the 1990s, and was meant to be utilized in the workplace. Entitled “The Boss Key,” a single tap of the button would instantly remove whatever the employee was doing on the computer and replace it with something that looked like work.

The smart phone is already equipped with security functions that serve a similar purpose to the “Panic” button. For example, after 10 failed attempts to enter the security password, the phone is wiped clean. It can also be wiped clean remotely. explains:

Addresses, phone numbers, email, photos. Your iPhone or iPad contains important and personal information — information you probably don’t want in the hands of a stranger. So if you lose your iPhone or iPad and displaying a message on it hasn’t resulted in its safe return, you can initiate a remote wipe to restore it to the factory settings.

According to, “the panic button isn’t a bad thing.” The website explains:

“The panic button would be a tool that the individual owner of the smartphone would use, and not the government itself from some remote location, whenever they see fit. And again, this technology is meant for countries around the world, and not specifically here, locally. Of course, the technology, which would allow the owner to wipe their device and send out a warning to other activists that they are being arrested or detained, could very well be installed in devices here in the States. The usage could be changed, or new features added to fit the needs of the American people.”

As noted by The Blaze, the very notion that the U.S. government is developing this application and using taxpayer funds to do so is disconcerting enough, and that’s before considering that it is being done in order to overthrow governments.

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