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America's 'panic button' to wipe phones of democracy activists, perturb repressive governments

Darren Murph

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So, here's the scene. You're out at [insert city center here], completely neglecting any and all work duties, throwing Molotov cocktails at the building of the State you've grown to hate. It's a protest in every sense of the word, and you're rallying the troops via Twitter and Facebook. It's actually not an uncommon painting these days, and while America's not into promoting violence, it is into keeping the personal information of democracy activists secure. According to a fresh Reuters report, the US State Department is currently developing a software-based "panic button" that would wipe a phone's address book and beam out emergency alerts to fellow protesters if they were apprehended. The goal here is to protect the privacy of those captured while promoting their best interests, and to let others know that trouble is brewing. There's no clear indication of the status here, but something tells us that it'd be useful yesterday for a certain region of the globe.

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