Florida to Citizens: Rat Out Your Terrorist Neighbors

iWATCH allows people to report terror-related activities online
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted May 17, 2013 1:27 PM CDT
Florida to Citizens: Rat Out Your Terrorist Neighbors
This undated handout image provided by iWatch.org shows the cover of the I-Watch report, a program of anti-terrorism indicators for police.   (AP Photo/iWatch.org)

Expect a few Big Brother! cries around this one. A group of northeast Florida counties have introduced a way for its residents to report on fellow residents who they believe may be engaged in terror activities: an online system called iWATCH. The iWATCH site explains what kinds of things should be reported; among them: people making sketches of buildings, a stranger who asks about building security, worrisome fumes, and suspicious car renters.

The program has sparked a thread on Slashdot titled "Florida Activates System For Citizens To Call Each Other Terrorists," where one commenter imagines "retirees staking out the pressure cookers at Walmart." But police tell the Florida Times-Union that people aren't likely to target others out of spite or because of a grudge, as all tips must be accompanied by a name and contact info. (More terrorism stories.)

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