You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

France releases terror alert app in time for Euro 2016

Engadget Engadget 8/06/2016 Steve Dent
France Security © Provided by Engadget France Security © Provided by Engadget

With the Euro 2016 football tournament starting on June 10th, France has unveiled a smartphone app that alerts users to terrorist attacks. Called SAIP (System to alert and inform the population), it allows you to opt-in to geolocalization or select up to eight regions to monitor. If you're at a game where an attack has occurred, your smartphone will display an alert screen, otherwise, you'll get a notification. It will also advise users on what do do, with instructions like "take shelter" and "stay down," according to France's Ministry of the Interior.

SAIP users not at games will also be able to see alerts in up to eight geographical areas, letting them keep tabs on games that friends or family may be attending. The notifications or alert screens will arrive less than 15 minutes after the attack, according to the Ministry, and let you share them to social media. The app is now available for Android or iOS, in both English and French.

France is still under a state of emergency following the November attacks, and the US issued a travel warning for all of Europe. In addition, the UK Home Office warned of a "high threat for terrorism" at the games, though both governments said the warnings were not based on specific intelligence.

French security forces stage a mock suicide bombing. (AP photo)

The warnings and alert app itself make the prospect of attending Euro 2016 a bit scary, but France is doing all it can to keep the games safe. According to the Guardian, the nation is deploying over 90,000 security staff to protect fans and players, including 42,000 local police, 30,000 gendarmes, 10,000 soldiers and 13,000 private security staff. In addition, France has rehearsed disaster scenarios for several months, staging a chemical gas attack, suicide bombing and 30 other potentially dire scenarios.

Following embarrassing lapses in security during games last month, EUFA and the French government have tightened security procedures. There will now be body searches, ID checks, and a very conspicuous police presence both in stadiums and "fan zones," where as many as seven million supporters will watch games on Jumbotron-type screens. Despite the danger, Prime Minister Manuel Valls says France is determined put on a good show. "The matches are of course all going ahead and the fan zones are maintained. Why? Because it's very important at a time of threat to show that life goes on."

Ministry of the Interior (translated)

More from Engadget

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon