Amnesty rolls out new saviour Android app ‘Panic Button’

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Amnesty International has come up with a new app dubbed “Panic Button” aimed to help human rights defenders in times of attack, kidnap or torture.

The Android dedicated saviour app turns the user’s smartphone power button into a panic button, which when rapidly pressed calls out for help by sending a pre-programmed message along with the sender’s GPS location to up to three contacts.

Tanya O’Carroll, Technology and Human Rights Officer for Amnesty International, announcing the app said, “The aim of the Panic Button is to increase protection for activists around the world who face the ever present threat of arrest, attack, kidnap and torture.”

“We have long known that the first hours after somebody’s arrest are the crucial window of opportunity for a network to make a difference to their colleague’s release—whether it be flooding the police station with calls, arranging a protest, or mobilizing lawyers and organizations like Amnesty International for a campaign of international pressure.”

The app, which has been tested by more than 100 activists and journalists across 17 different countries, is now available for download in four different languages on Android through the Google Play store.

However, Amnesty noted that the app might also turn to be a boon for the governments wanting to map protest networks. The organization has warned that if in case the users’ country is practicing “mass telecommunications monitoring and interception” then the app might “reveal information about your location and trusted contacts that could put you or them at increased risk.”