Bribespot is a web service, an Android app and soon an iPhone app that you can use to send in reports of bribes that were taken in your area. You can also check your location on the map to see what bribes were taken recently and why.
Bribery may not be a huge problem in the US, but worldwide it’s almost an epidemic, with some local governments sanctioning bribes of law officers to the degree that no one pays official fines any more. Instead, the officer gets his cut and part of it goes back to the government. It’s sickening and it’s rampant, especially in countries like Romania, Russia, Mexico and many other nations.
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Bribespot is a service that allows you to log instances of bribery in your area and look up recent instances that other people have anonymously reported. You can see the amount of the bribe and what area of government it affects or look at it in location form to see where bribes are most often taken. Bribespot was created during the Garage48 startup competition in Estonia last month. The team consisted of 10 team members from Estonia, Finland, Lithuania and Iran.
You only have to look to stories like this one about a couple’s child being nearly suffocated during birth to realize the need for change. The child was born without the services of a gynecologist who they fear they didn’t bribe enough to show up. Now the child is blind and deaf for life, something that may have been prevented if the culture was not so steeped in bribery.
Now, because Bribespot’s system is anonymous there is no way to tell if the reports are accurate, but the there seems to be little reason to fake them. Regardless of the accuracy of every report, if Bribespot can help to shine some light on this practice and perhaps help to effect a change, it will be effort well spent.