Patriot 'app' to help fight terrorism

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INDIALANTIC, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - Charles Reinighaus thinks Americans are "disenfranchised" when it comes to the war on terror. He feels like the federal government has all the power to keep the country safe and is missing a key component: the American people. He loves to point out that the Times Square Bomber was not stopped by high tech cameras are other security systems, but rather, by alert citizens who noticed something odd and reported it.

That's why Reinighaus and a group of friends created "The Patriot App" for the iPhone. It's an application that makes it easy to report things you think might not be on the up and up.

Reinighaus says "We didn't want citizens to have to take a passive role any longer to the government and the war on terror."

The app taps into federal tip lines. It lets you make reports, using pre-loaded forms, in any of several categories such as "National Security Threats," "Suspicious Activity," and "Government Waste." You can even include photos and/or video. The app then routes your report to the appropriate government agency like the FBI, Centers for Disease Control or the Environmental Protection Agency.

Some have already nicknamed "The Patriot App" the "Snitch App." Reinighaus says he realizes some may be tempted to use the app to get revenge on personal enemies. But he says he truly believes that 99.9 percent of people are good and will not misuse the technology. He's also quick to point out that false reporting to the federal government can get you a fine up to $250,000, something the application makes clear during the reporting process.

Right now the app is only available on the iPhone. But Reinighaus says his company is currently working on a version for Android based systems that should be available soon.

"The Patriot App" began a few months back as a $1.99 purchase in Apple's App Store. However, the company made a free download for the holidays. Reinighaus says the price could go back up after the first of the year. So, if you're interested in using your iPhone to help fight crime, you might want to download it sooner rather than later.