France is fielding almost 100,000 soldiers and police to protect the monthlong European soccer championship that begins on Friday, but in preparation for Euro 2016 the government has launched another, and thoroughly more modern, tool: a smartphone app to warn the public in case of an attack.
The Population Alert and Information System (SAIP in its French acronym) app will alert users "in the event of a suspected terror attack or exceptional circumstances [...] that could lead to an attack," the Ministry of the Interior said in a statement.
Speaking to officials from the Euro 2016 host cities back in March, Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve called on the government to "improve its public information [systems] during times of crisis."
The general public, he argued, should be able to access government alerts and instructions "without necessarily having to call the emergency hotlines," which are frequently overloaded during a terror attack. "On the night of November 13," the minister said, referring to the coordinated attacks in Paris that killed 130 people last year, "the police prefecture [police headquarters] received 93,000 calls."