Most Orwellian of all is this line: We may disclose any information about you (or your authorized child) that is in our possession or control to government or law enforcement officials or private parties. WHAT? Somehow this doesn’t seem right. That I should be giving up my right to my information, or that my information may be distributed t the government or law enforcement without my prior approval? Or wait, I guess I am giving my approval ahead of time for the price of this free game, which if purchased would cost me $1.00 Somehow it seems like I am selling my freedoms and privacy short. See what I mean?
As TechCrunch explained, Pokémon-loving millennials are far less likely to object to a few extra permissions for a chance to play this fun game staring them in the face and are more likely to abandon their god-given freedoms. Basically you are giving the government permission to spy on you if they want to use Google to read their emails or turn your cameras on.
Pokémon Go comes directly from the intelligence community
And it’s not like Pokémon Go itself doesn’t already have a direct line to the CIA. After all, Pokémon Go was created by Niantic, which was formed by John Hanke. Now, Hanke also just so happened to help found Keyhole. What does Keyhole do, you ask? I’d tell you to go to Keyhole’s website—but you can’t. It just takes you straight to Google Earth. That’s because Keyhole was acquired by Google back in 2004. Before that, though, Keyhole received funding from a firm called In-Q-Tel, a government-controlled venture capital firm that invests in companies that will help beef up the governments tool belt. The funds In-Q-Tel came from the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), whose primary mission is “collecting, analyzing, and distributing geospatial intelligence.”
Still unsure if Pokémon Go’s creator is a government spook? Check out this excerpt from the NGA’s in-house publication, Pathfinder Magazine: Companies obtain customer information through avenues such as social media, mobile apps, and customer relationship-management software. They might as well be talking about Pokémon Go itself.
We’re all government pawns
So what exactly is the New World Order planning to do with our precious and meticulously collected data? They could take a few different paths, though they all boil down to the fact that we’re all vulnerable when our information is collected by the big government machine. Considering that one of Big Brother’s favorite pastimes is watching its citizens at all times always and forever, Pokémon Go is an ideal vessel for its many, many eyes. It’s addicting (kids, adults, and conspiracy-loving bloggers for Gawker.com can’t seem to put the thing for more than ten minutes at a time). And it has access to pretty much our entire phone, meaning tons of personal data and monster tracking capabilities: People our freedoms are quickly disappearing and with our permissions. Some would say -Pokémon Go has a perfectly legitimate reason to want access to things like your location and camera. It needs the former to put you on the right map and the latter to make use of its augmented reality feature. But with those allowances, Pokémon Go (or rather, its parent company Niantic) not only knows where millions of people are at any given point, they could also very well figure out who they’re with, what’s going on around them, and where they’re likely headed next.
Remember, it doesn’t take that much to hunt someone down. All it took was one absentminded tweet for Vice to accidentally reveal the location of former fugitive John McAfee as Reddit user fight_for_anything explains: Intelligence agencies have gained a lot of info from google maps and its street view, but this data was collected easily with driving cars. intel agencies may see google maps and street view as just an outline or a skeleton of the whole picture. getting more data, particularly that off the street and inside buildings, requires tons of man hours and foot work. a logistical nightmare; here enters Pokemon GO, where if you are an intelligence agency and you want photos of the inside of a home or business, you just spawn desirable Pokemon or any similar app for that matter, and totally unaware and distracted citizens take the photos for you, with devices they paid for, and those citizens pay for the experience. Imagine all these photos going back to some database (with the augmented Pokemon removed obviously. all these photos are probably GPS tagged, as well as having the phones internal gyro embed x/y/z orientation of the camera angle in the phone. these photos could be put together, much like google street view. You very well may be creating a cache of high-res, data-rich images to get siphoned directly into the CIA’s intelligence data.
Just picture it, 20 years from now when the CIA Director is trying to figure out who helped The Washington Post reporters escape from prison, all he has to do is call over to Deputy Director. “Check the Pokédex,” he’ll say, and up springs a Google Street View-esque simulation of every building, nook, and closet within a five-mile radius—all updated in real time.
As user fight_for_anything explains, “What if that local church is a mosque they suspect of terrorist activity? And they want photos of it, or photos of the cars around it and their plates, or photos of the people coming in and out…” Meaning that, should the Director need eyes somewhere, all he as to do is tell the game to stick a Pikachu in the room and some unassuming gamer will send him a photo in no time.
Just know its a brave new world and it’s not likely you are ever really alone.