The Pentagon forces military personnel to turn off GPS on its smartphones to stop revealing secret bases

The Pentagon forces military personnel to turn off GPS on its smartphones to stop revealing secret bases
Last Friday, an order went into effect, banning the use of location services on both personal and government issued devices used by service members of the US military. This includes smartphones, smart watches and other devices with GPS capabilities. The ban is valid within all “operational areas” of the United States Armed Forces.

The new measure is most likely caused after a heatmap, generated by the activity of users of the fitness app Strava, revealed the locations of US military bases in foreign countries. Within the US, the colorful web of lines was mostly just an interesting way of visualizing runners’ data, but in Middle Eastern countries such as Afghanistan, the map showed much more. Because Strava’s userbase there was almost entirely made up of military personnel, US bases were shining like a beacon, including the ones that are removed from services like Google Maps. The precision of the tracking was so high that it even revealed internal layouts of the bases thanks to diligent joggers.

After taking their time, higher-ups at the Pentagon decided that the GPS functionality on mobile devices is a security risk and information from them can be used by enemies of the United States, even if app developers don’t voluntarily share it with the world.

Military operatives are still allowed to use their devices but must disable geolocation services, or face punishment. This will render some apps useless, but it’s a small sacrifice for improved security. Now all that’s left is for the Pentagon to move its bases to new, unknown, locations.


source: CNN via AppleInsider

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17 Comments

1. Rampage_Taco

Posts: 1109; Member since: Jan 17, 2017

Oh great, now they can't use any of the geolocation based filters in Snapchat

2. theot14430 unregistered

This procedure is a no brainer.

3. GreenMan

Posts: 2698; Member since: Nov 09, 2015

I'm no expert on U.S history but I think U.S hasn't been invaded since 1812 so its safe to assume that U.S is well protected for the foreseeable future unless The Man in The White House decide to do something VERY stupid which isn't entirely impossible, but chances are minimal. Not to mention the fact that most Red States are practically armed to the teeth thanks to 2nd Amendment. Why Pentagon is making such a fuss about it is beyond me. Sure, its against military discipline but still... The matter could've been handled more discreetly. Oh well, G'Day!

5. L0n3n1nja

Posts: 1588; Member since: Jul 12, 2016

If you listen to the fool in our white house we need to build walls because we're getting invaded by millions of illegals and terrorists daily.

10. Vokilam

Posts: 1387; Member since: Mar 15, 2018

You’re extremely misinformed by the us media. Everything you posted about the us sounds just like saying “Chinese can’t drive”. All of my friends, myself and nearly half of population are armed to our teeth - were not a red state - this is California. Our current president is doing right thing to keep illegals from crossing over - breaking the law - which was placed to protect our borders from real terrorost mascaradimg as refugee families. Criminals do cross that border everyday and not all Latino - many are disguised middle eastern. People with properties close to the border are robbed, and threatened consistently while trying to protect their property from trespassers. The man that was before trump made extremely stupid decisions without regard to middle class - my healthcare is unaffordable because of what he did, for example. My taxes are a basic robbery. And my grandkids now owe to pay back financial decisions/mistakes that Obama afmianiatrstion did. U don’t live here - stop listening to one sided rhetoric if you want to be involved, old man.

4. nerdmb

Posts: 57; Member since: Nov 11, 2017

I'm actually surprised something like that hasn't been done yet. In addition, please ban the use of devices manufactured by chinese companies. china is a communist nation and ALL chinese companies are funded by chinese communist party. People either don't know that fact or forget about it very easily.

6. L0n3n1nja

Posts: 1588; Member since: Jul 12, 2016

I'm amazed they were ever aloud to have location services enabled anyway, like really? No one thought about this issue prior?

7. Jc1980

Posts: 27; Member since: May 16, 2018

The US has no chance of ever being invaded. The combination of missle defense, Air Force & Navy assets (submarines, destroyers, missle cruiser's ECT) makes it nearly impossible never mind the amount of gun owners in this country.

9. cmdacos

Posts: 4334; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

See 9/11...

15. worldpeace

Posts: 3135; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

No worries, Trump already travel-ban those terrorist countries, US will be save.. /s

8. Jc1980

Posts: 27; Member since: May 16, 2018

But them implementing this makes all the sense in the world. Any stategic advantage we can keep under wraps is a must. Especially in today's technology driven society.

11. DechyX

Posts: 156; Member since: May 16, 2011

I am active duty military and I have heard nothing about this ban. I also cannot see how they can realistically implement this across all military installations... they cannot even actively stop the few idiots that post classified or sensitive information onto social media.

16. worldpeace

Posts: 3135; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

I think they should spend a few millions to make their own apps, server and databases, so they can track military personel's fitness, location, activities, and stuffs, while the personel himself can still get what he want. (and strava can provide the fitness tracker for them, and help them to make the software)

12. Phantom1031

Posts: 264; Member since: Aug 02, 2014

I think no one read the article properly, article says app revealed the locations of US military bases in foreign countries, not inside US. And they may be prone to attack if data is stolen or revealed to their enemies, but why the hell such people have such devices anyway so they can be traced?

13. D34ever

Posts: 236; Member since: Jul 14, 2018

They have to be "forced" to not reveal their secret locations? Holy crap, where is their common sense? I guess it's true that you don't need a brain to join the military.

14. yalokiy

Posts: 1116; Member since: Aug 01, 2016

Too late! All the bases are now known to terrorists, run for your life!

17. Jrod99

Posts: 779; Member since: Jan 15, 2016

Surprise their allowed to wear them at all.

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