Phone apps for illegal immigrants

 I can only guess what Bill O’Reilly has to say about this. Probably, something along the lines of "Ban all phones!" From a group calling themselves Electronic Civil Disobedience comes the Transborder Immigrant Tool, a simple mobile application intended to aid and abet border-crossers from Mexico to the United States by mapping the safest routes ...

 I can only guess what Bill O'Reilly has to say about this. Probably, something along the lines of "Ban all phones!"

 I can only guess what Bill O’Reilly has to say about this. Probably, something along the lines of "Ban all phones!"

From a group calling themselves Electronic Civil Disobedience comes the Transborder Immigrant Tool, a simple mobile application intended to aid and abet border-crossers from Mexico to the United States by mapping the safest routes to take.

This GPS app is built to work on the cheapest cell phones available. It brings to mind every petty-but-illegal transgression the casual user could commit and stretches the boundaries of the permissibility of tech’s uses for plausibly illegal means. The next time you use P2P or bit torrent clients to download media or use an iPhone app to detect police radars, think about this mobile application and how it reflects on American law and the Internet.

The app seems to originate from a hacktivist group out of UCSD – hardly a historical hotbed of technological innovation, but close enough to the US-Mexican border to have a significant impact on the politics of technology in that area. The group also advocates DDoS-like digital sit-ins to bog down the resources of websites it deems offensive.

Evgeny Morozov is a fellow at the Open Society Institute and sits on the board of OSI's Information Program. He writes the Net Effect blog on ForeignPolicy.com

More from Foreign Policy

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping give a toast during a reception following their talks at the Kremlin in Moscow on March 21.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping give a toast during a reception following their talks at the Kremlin in Moscow on March 21.

Can Russia Get Used to Being China’s Little Brother?

The power dynamic between Beijing and Moscow has switched dramatically.

Xi and Putin shake hands while carrying red folders.
Xi and Putin shake hands while carrying red folders.

Xi and Putin Have the Most Consequential Undeclared Alliance in the World

It’s become more important than Washington’s official alliances today.

Russian President Vladimir Putin greets Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev.
Russian President Vladimir Putin greets Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev.

It’s a New Great Game. Again.

Across Central Asia, Russia’s brand is tainted by Ukraine, China’s got challenges, and Washington senses another opening.

Kurdish military officers take part in a graduation ceremony in Erbil, the capital of Iraq’s Kurdistan Region, on Jan. 15.
Kurdish military officers take part in a graduation ceremony in Erbil, the capital of Iraq’s Kurdistan Region, on Jan. 15.

Iraqi Kurdistan’s House of Cards Is Collapsing

The region once seemed a bright spot in the disorder unleashed by U.S. regime change. Today, things look bleak.