(ANTIMEDIA) The U.S. government just threw another log on the fire, adding to the blaze of paranoia it’s been generating around the nation’s newest threat — foreign cyber attacks. In a memo sent out July 19, Pentagon employees were told to keep Pokemon Go off their phones to prevent spying by foreign countries.
According the The Washington Times, an anonymous source told Inside the Ring the memorandum “warned all officials and defense contractors that playing Pokemon Go, the hugely popular Japanese video game, poses a potential a security risk to secure and sensitive facilities.”
The hugely popular augmented reality game, an app downloaded and played on smartphones, took the world by storm in the beginning of July as millions scrambled to capture little digital creatures within days of its launch. According to the Pentagon’s source, security concerns quickly arose:
“Pokemon Go uses the Global Positioning System satellite network for maps of areas around the handheld mobile devices that utilize the application. Pentagon security officials are concerned the data obtained playing the game could provide pinpoint accuracy on the locations of rooms and other sensitive facilities where secrets are stored. The game also could provide personal data on Pentagon officials with access to secrets, information that could be used in cyber attacks or spying recruitment attempts. Pokemon Go employs Google Maps to place users within a real-world city location and then shows a figure of the game player on the map.”
Ironically, smartphone apps like Google Maps, Facebook, Gmail, Twitter, and others have not been banned despite the treasure trove of personal information and location-tracking data the platforms collect. The Pentagon even bragged to the press when Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter joined Facebook last year.
The Pokemon Go ban adds to the years-long fear mongering the government has rolled out following high-profile cyber attacks. Cyber surveillance bills like CISPA (2.0, 3.0) and SOPA have been sold to the public as reactionary solutions to those problems. It is obvious that the government and its agencies will look for every opportunity to scare the American people into begging for protection from any boogeyman they can piece together.
This article (Paranoia-Peddling Pentagon Bans Pokemon GO) is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Josie Wales and theAntiMedia.org. Anti-Media Radio airs weeknights at 11 pm Eastern/8 pm Pacific. If you spot a typo, please email the error and name of the article to email@example.com.
Since you’re here…
…We have a small favor to ask. Fewer and fewer people are seeing Anti-Media articles as social media sites crack down on us, and advertising revenues across the board are quickly declining. However, unlike many news organizations, we haven’t put up a paywall because we value open and accessible journalism over profit — but at this point, we’re barely even breaking even. Hopefully, you can see why we need to ask for your help. Anti-Media’s independent journalism and analysis takes substantial time, resources, and effort to produce, but we do it because we believe in our message and hope you do, too.
If everyone who reads our reporting and finds value in it helps fund it, our future can be much more secure. For as little as $1 and a minute of your time, you can support Anti-Media. Thank you. Click here to support us