Pentagon bans smartphones, apps that use geolocation services

09 August, 2018, 18:57 | Author: Veronica Peterson
  • Pentagon puts restrictions on fitness trackers | TheHill

Military troops and Defense Department personnel deployed to sensitive areas such as war zones will no longer be able to use fitness trackers and cellphone applications that pinpoint their location.

The Defense Department will also provide training on the risks that fitness trackers bring.

In January, Secretary Jim Mattis called for a review of using such devices and apps after news broke that Strava, an exercise tracking company that calls itself "the social network for athletes", published "Heat Maps" of military service members' fitness routines, particularly in remote areas of foreign countries where their presence is often sensitive.

The Pentagon discovered a fitness tracking app may have accidentally revealed security force locations around the world.

Those who violate the ban on geolocation features will be dealt with on a case by case basis depending on the severity of the infraction, Manning said.

Under the new order, military leaders will be able to determine whether troops in their locations can use the Global Positioning System function on their devices or apps. But it says the "geolocation capabilities" can present a "significant risk" to military personnel, so those functions must be turned off in certain operational areas.

Third earthquake shakes Indonesian island as death toll tops 300
In December 2004, a massive magnitude 9.1 quake off Sumatra triggered a tsunami that killed 230,000 people in a dozen countries. Rescue teams search for victims in the rubble caused by an natural disaster at a mosque in North Lombok, Indonesia.

Defense officials anxious that individuals could use the map to identify running routes around remote or classified US military bases or in warzones, suggesting that soldiers' lives could be at risk. Within the U.S., 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.

Pentagon spokesperson Col. Rob Manning told reporters on Monday that the new policy ensures "we're not giving the enemy an unfair advantage", while at the same time "keeping pace with technology". But it seems the heatmap was inadvertently mapping places that should have been kept secret.

This is the second memo affecting the use of electronic devices that the department has released in recent months.

The Pentagon announced Monday that it is putting new restrictions on USA troops carrying electronics, following revelations early this year that information they were sharing online could be collated to determine the locations of US bases and units overseas.

Applicable devices include fitness trackers, smartphones, tablets, smartwatches, and related software applications, according to a copy of the policy memo sent from Deputy Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan to top DoD leadership last week. The Pentagon's response also comes after a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report to Congress calling for "enhanced assessments and guidance ... to address security risks in DoD" posed by internet of things devices.

Recommended:



Popular

Kim, Khloe Kardashian shade sister Kourtney's ex-boyfriend Younes Bendjima
It certainly was a busy year for the Kardashian-Jenner clan as Kim , Khloe, and Kylie Jenner all birthed daughters in 2018. The couple was together for almost two years, meeting first at Paris Fashion Week in 2016.

European Tour mistakenly pays United Kingdom golfer’s $150K winnings to Florida namesake
But there appears to have been a small mixup, as the EuroTour sent the money to the wrong Tommy Fleetwood. I know the European Tour are looking into it and I'm sure they will feel pretty bad about it.

Chelsea signs keeper Arrizabalaga for record fee
Courtois said at his official unveiling: "Arriving at the best club in the world is a responsibility and an honour". Kepa is Spain's number two behind Manchester United's David de Gea .

Strong quake again hits Indonesia's Lombok island
A field hospital has also been established near an evacuation centre catering to more than 500 people in the village of Tanjung. The quake struck at 19:46 local time (11:46 GMT) on Sunday at a fairly shallow depth of 31km (19 miles).

‘Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’ Bundle Includes a GameCube Controller
Though we've covered almost every thing that was announced today, it's also worth watching the Direct to see it all in action. The big question for the rest of the year, for Smash fans, is now going to be what that mode could possibly be.

Donald Trump warns world against business with Iran as sanctions return
Iran's national flags are seen on a square in Tehran February 10, 2012, a day before the anniversary of the Islamic Revolution. Tuesday's sanctions target Iran's purchases of USA dollars, metals trading, coal, industrial software and the auto sector.

Fantasy Cricket: Dream11 tips for 2nd Test-- England v India
Yet this season has seen Pope make 684 runs for Championship leaders Surrey at an average of 85.5, including three centuries. Drizzle in London has left play looking unlikely before lunch, with the forecast for the whole of Thursday pretty bleak.

Spider-Man: Far From Home Adds Samuel L. Jackson And Cobie Smulders
Plus, Peter Parker's classmates played by Zendaya and Jacob Batalon are supposed to be back as well. What do you think about the latest Infinity War revelations? Jackson is ready to swing with Spidey.

Universal's Cowboy Ninja Viking Has Delayed Production Indefinitely
The film was initially set to be released on June 28, 2019, but Universal reportedly wasn't eager to rush to meet a release date. Cowboy Ninja Viking may still get underway before the end of the year, but it's unlikely that we'll the movie anytime next year.

Severe thunderstorm watch issued for Sudbury
Environment Canada has issued a severe thunderstorm watch for much of southern Ontario , including the GTA. Lightning kills and injures Canadians every year. 'When thunder roars, go indoors'.