Civil Liberties Union releases ‘Stop & Frisk Watch’ mobile app

civil liberties union releases stop frisk watch mobile app stopfriskFollowing a rise in the number of police stops for black or Latino youth in New York, the New York Civil Liberties Union has unveiled a mobile app that will allow users not only to document their own police stop experience, but also submit it to the NYCLU for review. Unsurprisingly, not everyone is in favor of this idea.

To put the perceived need for this app in some context: Last year, a record 684,330 people were stopped and questioned by police in New York City, an increase of almost 600% from 2002, when the stop, question and search practice was launched in the city. The vast majority of those stopped were male – 92% – and African American or Latino (87%), with nine out of ten people stopped having committed no crime. In 2011, the practice generated 1720 complaints to the NYPD, continuing a trend: Since 2005, complaints from stop, question and search accounted for a third of all complaints to the department.

Against that background, the NYCLU today released the Stop and Frisk Watch app in front of police headquarters. According to the New York Post, “Users of the app can hit record to start shooting video if they witness a stop. If they shake the phone, it stops filming, and the video is sent to NYCLU” (The NYCLU says that it will use video to investigate incidents, but information about the sender will not be stored in a database). The app will also allow users to report police incidents that weren’t filmed, as well as locate stop-and-frisks in the nearby area.

The app is the creation of Jason Van Anden, who last year created the I’m Getting Arrested app that allowed Occupy Wall Street protestors to send emergency texts to contacts while being taken into police custody. He described this new app as a “labor of love” that he’s been working on for months.

As might be expected, lawmakers aren’t exactly thrilled with the app. One anonymous law enforcement source is quoted by the Post as saying “Just what we need, somebody telling kids stopped by the police to quickly pull a handheld device out of their pocket.” For its part, NYCLU executive director Donna Lieberman told the newspaper that the organization is stressing that people should co-operate with police if stopped, and witnesses should not interfere with whatever is happening in front of them. The app, she went on to say, was intended for witnesses of stops, not those stopped themselves.

The app is currently available for Android devices, with iPhone versions promised later this year.

Movies & TV

How Laika blends 3D printing and CGI to make mesmerizing stop-motion movies

With each film, Laika Studios pushes the bar higher for stop-motion animation. We explore Laika's latest techniques for its new adventure, Missing Link, which the studio it calls a Kaleidoscopic travelogue that ranks as its most ambitious…
Movies & TV

The best new podcasts to listen to on your daily commute

Feel like you’re drowning in podcasts? In this weekly series we’ll help you pick out the best from the rest of the new and returning shows. This week’s picks include a call to arms for creativity, an infamous baggie of crack, and…

Confused about RSS? Don't be. Here's what it is and how to use it

What is an RSS feed, anyway? This traditional method of following online news is still plenty useful. Let's take a look at what RSS means, and what advantages it has in today's busy world.
Social Media

New Zealand attack shows that as A.I. filters get smarter, so do violators

The shootings in Christchurch, New Zealand were livestreamed to social media, and while stats show networks are improving at removing offending videos, as the system improves, so do the violators' workarounds.

HMD Global admits Nokia 7 Plus handsets sent user data to China

Nokia could be in some hot water. According to recent reports, Nokia 7 models may be secretly sending data to China without the user knowing about it. Nokia says that the issue was a software bug and that it has been fixed.

Here are the best iPad Pro keyboard cases to pick up with your new tablet

The iPad Pro range can double as laptops, but they do need proper keyboards to fill in effectively. Thankfully, there are loads to choose from and we rounded up the best iPad Pro keyboard cases right here.
Product Review

The new iPad Mini isn’t a beauty, but it performs like a beast

Apple’s new iPad Mini has beastly performance, fluid iOS 12 software, and good battery life. It also looks like it came straight out of 2015, because the design hasn’t been changed. Here's our review of Apple’s 7.9-inch tablet.

24 must-have apps for rooted Android phones and tablets

Rooting your Android device opens up a world of possibilities, along with a few apps. Here are 24 of our favorites, so you can make the most of your rooted device and unleash the true power of Android.

Wring the most out of iOS with the best commands for Siri

You may not know all the things you can say to Siri -- after all, Apple never released an official list of commands for its virtual assistant. Thankfully, we've compiled a list of the best Siri commands to help you out.

Breeze through security with these checkpoint-friendly laptop bags

Getting through airport security is a drag, but your laptop bag shouldn’t be. Thankfully, these checkpoint-friendly laptop bags will get you and your gear to your destination with ease.

Flex your thumbs (and your brain) with these fun texting games

Gaming consoles keep getting more advanced, but you can still have fun with the good old Latin alphabet. Here are our picks for the best texting games, so you can make the most fun out of that limited data plan or basic cell phone.

Alpina makes its AlpinerX smartwatch even more attractive with new colors

Alpina has introduced four new colors to its AlpinerX smartwatch range, breaking the usually sporty watch out into a more everyday casual design, and given the tech a slight makeover too.

New gold finish makes Frederique Constant’s hybrid smartwatch flashier than ever

Frederique Constant has found considerable success with its luxury hybrid smartwatch, the Hybrid Manufacture, and has launched several new color schemes to help bring it even more attention.

Tag Heuer’s Golf Edition smartwatch is a lot more than just a flash of new color

Tag Heuer's Golf Edition Connected Modular 45 smartwatch has a lot more going for it than just a flashy new color scheme. From the titanium body and black PVD coating to the new Golf app, this is a true special edition.