Friday’s Food for Thought: Counterterrorism Apps

The role of GIS in the fight against terror begins with monitoring activity and providing those affected an accurate, comprehensive picture of incidents as they occur


Image courtesy of TerrorMate

The role of GIS in the fight against terror begins with monitoring activity and providing those affected an accurate, comprehensive picture of incidents as they occur.

With terror attacks and situations of mass violence becoming increasingly sophisticated and frequent, TerrorTech LLC (of Defense Trading Solutions) has created a new, multi-faceted tool to assist with counterterrorism efforts. Called TerrorMate, the tool is being billed as the world’s first mobile terrorism alert app.

The smartphone app alerts users to both potential and actual terror activity within five minutes of an incident, and provides data to help keep people in the surrounding area safe.

Functions include notifications based on the user’s specific geo-location, an “intel feed” through which civilian users can upload pictures, videos, and anonymous tips, and an encrypted instant messaging system where users can speak one-on-one or share their location with a list of trusted contacts. Additionally, TerrorMate can navigate users to the nearest approved safe zone in the event of an emergency.

“Global intelligence services are reluctant to share information and sources with each other unless the threat is imminent. The real-time response is also non-existent,” according to TerrorMate’s website. “We realized there was a need for a network … which can share information internationally, nationally and locally.”

TerrorMate is supported by TerrorTech’s 24-hour national operations center—staffed by former military and intelligence personnel who analyze and share vital information with the public and manage the app’s intel feed.

TerrorMate is not yet widely available, though a Defense Trading Solutions press release reports the app is slated for worldwide launch on iOS and android this quarter. Earlier this month, TerrorTech kicked off the first round of angel investor funding to finance the app’s official launch as well as future improvements.

Currently in development is TerrorMate Auto, which will mesh the alert system with intelligent vehicle systems such as OnStar and Uconnect.

The app was nominated for the 2017 ASTORS Homeland Security Awards in the Best Mobile Technology category.

TerrorMate may be the first app of its kind, but it’s not alone in its efforts. CitizenAID, is a mobile app developed by military and intelligence personnel to help train the public on medical treatment and first-aid procedures to help tend to victims while emergency services are en route or addressing the initial threat. CitizenAID can be used in tandem with TerrorMate to help save lives following incidents of mass violence.

Posted in: got geoint?   Tagged in: Applications, GIS, Homeland Security

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