“Police Tape” is a free app that lets users securely and discreetly record interactions with police, with an option to post the resulting footage on the ACLU's own servers.
We’ve already seen one smartphone app designed to uncover government corruption, and recently we came across another that aims to preserve police accountability. Launched recently by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of New Jersey, “Police Tape” is a free app that lets users securely and discreetly record interactions with police, with an option to post the resulting footage to the ACLU’s own servers. Now available for Android devices in the Google Play store, the “Police Tape” app records video and audio discreetly, disappearing from the screen’s display once recording begins. Besides keeping a copy on the phone itself, the user can also elect to send it to the New Jersey ACLU for backup storage and analysis of possible civil liberties violations. Also included in the app, which targets roadside pull-overs, is legal information about citizens’ rights when interacting with the police. A version of the software for iOS devices will be available later this summer, the ACLU says. We’ve been writing for years about what our sister site would call transparency triumph, but smartphones are taking it to a whole new level. Watchdog groups around the globe: take note.