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'Absolutely Sickening': US Military Buys Location Data Harvested From Apps, Including One for Muslim Prayers

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/11/16/absolutely-sickening-us-military-buys-location-data-harvested-apps-including-one


Privacy is dead, and we have killed it.–US MIC


This shouldn’t be a surprise, citizens all over the world have paid, in some cases large sums of money, to make the job of our intelligence agencies very easy, by walking around with their own private tracking devices in their pockets…our phones. How that tech “progress” working out now?


" the mobile app ecosystem is completely broken ". Just another ecosystem humans, operating under the finest principles of capitalist greed and low rent behavior, have sold out their beautiful surroundings and shared vegetation.
Will these apps benefit from more watering and sunlight?
Would they be part of the Green New Deal?


So you don’t use apps to pray or organize or advertise yourself and your proclivities in any way. EVER.

That is the only effective and logical response. Prayer never needed an app before iPhone came along, did it?

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"such information isn’t limited to U.S. law enforcement but also extends to the military. "

Is there a difference?

I’m a programmer. First program was in the fall on 1966, in FORTRAN on an IBM Systems 360. I’ve watched this on and off ever since. I’ve also worked for firms soliciting business and setting up client-recruitment meetings (way back in the 1980’s) and I remember how the firm I worked for was glad to not get permission from the colleges to have practice-management recruitment meetings on campus for their doctors to be. They were much happier in hotel meeting rooms where they could do what they want. I’ve never forgotten that lesson. When I saw “apps” (short for application, substitute for executable which means a program, also called a command file [origin of “com” extension] for the list of commands which make up a program) my very first thought was that these things are black boxes (engineering term) which don’t reveal what is under the hood. There may be some honorable firms but I was certain then that apps were doorways to look at and utilize all the information (permitted or not) on a phone (we really should call them something other than phone). All those permission screens are just so much nonsense. If you are operating under the hood, so to speak, you likely know how to get access to anything on the device.


Edward Snowden.

Any exploitation like this should result in federal and state felony time for both the seller and the buyer. Where are the Dems?

Yep. It should be mandatory to include an un-evadable hardware filter to prevent app software from collecting data or calling home unless explicitly permitted by the owner. And it should be a crime for the app vendors to lie about what they’ll harvest and report.

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I’m amazed (tho maybe that’s me being naïve) that there aren’t more faraday clamshells on the market.


One can only imagine the right-wing/republican/evangelical reaction if the government was using communication software to track Christian prayer meetings. We would all (quite justifiably) find it appalling. (Before the trouble starts, let me acknowledge that I am a theologically conservative Christian clergyman.) This is no different. It is fundamentally immoral to exploit people’s religion to focus violence against them.

We need a Constitutional Amendment - and a worldwide legal code - specifying that our data, and our metadata, belong to us and are inalienable.

And we need “smart” phones / network devices of all sorts, including all apps, to be non-proprietary, with open-source code, and requiring actual informed consent (not hidden under impenetrable “user agreements” and “terms of service” written by and for corporate profiteers) for any use of our data or metadata.

We are building a giant network, with each of us reduced to nodes on the network. THIS IS NOT GOOD!

“Where are the Dems?”

They’re in bed with these corporations, same as the gop. The people have no real representation in Congress.


I think we have gone over the tipping point Recon.
Sneak off to the woods, off grid, and the satellites will still find us.
Send a drone if they want to keep up-to-date spying.

I thought everybody invited celebrity. Well, now we have it. Wanted or not.

We were told frequently in reconnaissance, that we would be replaced by satellites one day, our response was “good luck with that, you can’t recon the underside of a bridge with a satellite”. But drones are a different story, and used by my old unit today. None of this spying will stop until the intelligence agencies are defunded, if or when that will happen is anyone’s guess. My guess would be, not until capitalism is in the dustbin of history.

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Thank you. Very good response and I appreciate it.

If personal data are collected, they will be misused – in many different ways. Thus, we need laws to stop the practice of designing systems so that they collect personal data.

Search “gnu surveillance-vs-democracy” for more.

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