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AZ Tech Beat | October 20, 2019

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ICE BlackBox app turns smartphones into a secure surveillance camera

ICE BlackBox app turns smartphones into a secure surveillance camera
Ashley Garcia

Suspicious activity, domestic abuse, animal abuse, bullying and other illegal activities can now be captured on this new crime-fighting app. This app allows the user to stream real-time video to secure servers where it is saved and cannot be deleted by a perpetrator against the user’s will.

The new ICE BlackBox app was developed by CEO and Founder, and NSA Technical Advisor for the National Sheriffs Association, Edward Horcasitas, who came up with the idea for the app about five years ago during a time when smartphone technology was not as developed as it is today.

“I designed the entire app then had to wait about two years for smartphone technology to catch up to the level I needed. In addition, the network speeds needed to be sufficient to support fast and secure uploads,” Horcasitas said. In Spring of 2013 the founder and CTO and Business Partner/Co-founder, Chris Norton launched it out to the world.

 

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The new app ICE BlackBox, will send your audio, video, and GPS information to a secure server where it becomes a permanent record of threatening situations. The distinction between this app and other emergency apps is that videos cannot be deleted from the device, preventing an attacker from forcing you to delete an incident against your will.

While the founders originally designed the app to record and relay evidence of animal cruelty, there are other uses for this app such as bullying or domestic violence.

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Currently, sheriff’s offices in Pinal County, Arizona, and Calhoun County, Alabama, are also testing a compatible portal that allows law enforcement personnel to directly receive videos and other details relative to alleged animal abuse. The app also has a an emergency 9-1-1 call button which immediately sends the caller’s recordings, location and emergency contact information to law enforcement agencies and the users ICE contacts. For sheriff offices partnered with BlackBox, the technology allows deputies to be dispatched while callers stay on the phone with emergency dispatchers.

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As for the videos, they are automatically sent to the BlackBox cloud where they can viewed by your ICE contacts. Videos can also be sent via text or email to contacts as well.

Horcasitas said, “We have already seen reported animal abuse evidence which were dispatched to local authorities for animal rescue. We are also currently talking to Homeland Security and the Military to increase security by using our app and alert platform.”

Horcasitas shared that one user, a father, showed his son how to use the app to protect himself against bullies.

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The app is currently available for download for Android and iPhone.

Graphics provided by ICE BlackBox