France-releases-terrorism-alert-app-ahead-of-Euro-2016-soccer-tournament. PARIS,Two days before the start of the 2016 UEFA European Championship soccer tournament, the French government on Wednesday released a new mobile phone app designed to provide critical real time information to citizens in the event of a terrorist attack.
The application, called SAIP, was developed by the French Ministry of the Interior and Government Information Service following the coordinated attack on Paris in November that killed 130 people.
“This first version … allows you to be alerted via notification on a smartphone, in case of suspicion of attack or exceptional event (security accident) may result from an attack,” the Interior Ministry said in a statement Wednesday. “The application will take into account all major natural and technological risks and issue the related alert messages.”
“In case of imminent danger, a notification appears on the screen of smartphone user,” the French Ministry of the Interior said in describing how the app works. “If the user is geolocated in the danger zone, a [warning notification appears] on the phone regardless of the current display.”
When a user receives an alert, there is a clickable button at the bottom of the screen, labeled “How to Act,” which gives safety instructions. There’s also a “Stay Informed” link, which displays information and detailed instructions regarding the current situation and advises people what course of action they can take.
The alerts are issued by the Interior Ministry’s civil security department, officials said.
The SAIP app was released Wednesday but officials said they are already developing a “more complete” version, which also aims to alert citizens about other types of dangers, including floods, avalanches and earthquakes.
The next version of SAIP, for example, would have been particularly useful for French residents last week when devastating floods saturated the country following relentless rains.
The 2016 UEFA European Championship starts Friday and runs through July 10
By Doug G. Ware