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Texting to put criminals behind bars

When I was a lad, I’d always see and hear notices for Crime Stoppers, an anonymous law enforcement tip line. “Call 1-800-CRIMESTOPPERS. No one will ask your name,” was the slogan. So it appears that people are far more willing to tip off police anonymously. But with caller ID (not to mention call recording) being what it is, a good number of people might be paranoid about leaving such tips. But what if you could text message the tip? And what if your number was encrypted, so that the text was truly anonymous? That’s what TipSoft is aiming to find out.

TipSoft is making its way to 32 cities in the U.S., and sixteen in Canada. The idea is to provide law enforcement with leads to non-urgent matters. Clearly, if the situation needs immediate attention, dial 9-1-1. But for simple leads, TipSoft should do the trick.

The service also allows law enforcement to respond to these anonymous text messages. I suppose this uses some kind of shortcode routing. Officers can send messages back, even without knowing the information of the tipster. That seems to be the overarching theme of TipSoft: Complete anonymity.

“Due to the massive popularity of text messaging, we felt it was necessary to develop a secure and anonymous means of easy communication between mobile phone users and law enforcement,” said Kevin Anderson, CEO of Anderson Software. “With TipSoft SMS, everyday citizens will have the opportunity to offer an anonymous tip when they are mobile to a variety of law enforcement agencies via a simple text message.”

You can check out TipSoft for yourself at