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Beware, pokemon go has ties to the CIA, allegedly

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by imaginaryhuman, Jul 22, 2016.

  1. imaginaryhuman

    imaginaryhuman

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    Shushustorm and JamesArndt like this.
  2. Ryiah

    Ryiah

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    I joked in another thread that this game is the perfect way to spy on infrastructure in a country. :p
     
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  3. drewradley

    drewradley

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    Russia is just mad they didn't think of it first.
     
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  4. Aabel

    Aabel

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    Russians are notoriously paranoid about foreign influence and espionage, and rightfully so.
     
  5. Murgilod

    Murgilod

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    Yeah, lemme just trust anything this site says at all.
     
  6. JasonBricco

    JasonBricco

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    Knowing how things are, I completely believe it. Why 'wouldn't' they use it to their advantage?

    I'll hear a lot of 'conspiracy theory' nonsense, but people forget about how human nature is. They think the governments actually care about us. They think the leaders wouldn't go to extreme measures to have power and control over us because... they... have morals? Or something? Even though human nature and our extreme desire for wealth and power would completely support that they would do these things.

    Of course they're going to track our data. Of course they're going to collect it. And of course they're going to use it to their advantage - because who is going to stop them? All the power that gives them... you really think they would throw it away?

    That's silly.
     
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  7. BeefSupreme

    BeefSupreme

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    What, you think a pro-Trump, NWO/911 conspiracy obsessed blog might not be a reliable source of information?
     
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  8. hippocoder

    hippocoder

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    You mean everyone, right?

    Well the governments are just people like you. And everyone else. It's basically human physics, we've invented currency, invented slavery, abolished slavery and created slavery everyone wants with taxes. That's banking.

    Is it evil? No, it's just we've made our own beds and must now lie in them. I'm not sure it can be called evil or good or any primitive concept like that.
     
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  9. Murgilod

    Murgilod

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    Except Pokemon Go doesn't transmit anything other than location data of people for places that are already public. The only information you really get from it is where people are, which is heavily influenced by pokemon/pokestop locations. It doesn't transmit videos or pictures even in AR mode. Just location data. This is effectively useless from an intelligence perspective.

    This is all conspiracy theory hokum. It even relies on easily disproved claims like all good conspiracy theories do. For instance, there is no ban on Pokemon Go in Russia. It's still coming soon. This is like saying that it was banned in Canada when it was still coming soon here as well.
     
  10. Acissathar

    Acissathar

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    A lot of these conspiracy theories on Pokemon GO seem neglect to mention that you can turn off the AR Mode. It isn't even hidden deeply within 35 sub menus, it literally shows up as a slider right on your screen whenever you engage with a Pokemon or Gym.

    The "best" one I've heard though is that Niantic is using this as a brain washing tool by the Japanese so they can easily infiltrate American shores and effectively cause another Pearl Harbor.
     
  11. JasonBricco

    JasonBricco

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    I certainly don't have enough information about any of it to make any strong claims. All I'm saying is I'm cautious about it, and I think it's very reasonable to be.
     
  12. justbrosingthanks

    justbrosingthanks

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    still no idea what that is...I mean i know it has some beasts and it's an app right? And arguably a game 0_0 but can't believe it gets more coverage than terrorism in France. Won't surprise me if you're onto something here - remember the facebook cia alleged ties...and...the reptilians...and zuckerberg demonstrating levitation live in his speeches :).
     
  13. justbrosingthanks

    justbrosingthanks

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    just googled it...2 minutes, already red flag comrade:

    1. Developed by google...ok...."internal startup" at google well right.
    2. There's a video on youtube by Larry Page bragging about google's "perfect partnership" with cia.


    Bit offtopic but:

    I am rather not shocked that an app made by google somehow got popular when the website google play is owned...well...by guess who? Google!
    I was hoping to read that Niantec or whatever was some sort of anonymous Egyptian/Turkish/Swedish small lab of 2 people who somehow hit the jackpot. Now that will be a story, it's pretty much non-story marketing wise now when google are forcing people to buy their products with ads on front page.
     
  14. neginfinity

    neginfinity

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    Wouldn't surprise me in the slightest.

    However, the more plausible scenario would be google selling tracking data to intelligence agencies. Modern smartphone is loaded with apps that track some sort of user information all the time non-stop. Google probably knows where you live, for example. The amount of that tracking information is so massive at this point, that there's probably no way to keep it under control anymore.

    --------

    However, seeing "support us on patreon" and blogger's photo in a mask at the bottom of the article was quite amusing (and certainly didn't make the information more believable).
     
  15. GarBenjamin

    GarBenjamin

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    I never visited the site and don't know what it says. In general though it should be (but isn't) common knowledge now how much tracking goes on at least in the USA. Everything is tracked. And people seem to just blindly accept it. Cell phones apps (both the ones that come with your phone and the ones you download) are continually wanting your location. Facebook tracks masses including maintaining a list of your closest associates. Heck they even let people "check in" reporting their current location.

    I think sometimes people just kind of go through life with their heads in the sand like an ostrich. Not wanting to see what all is going on. Yet the evidence is available all around. Facebook tracking is used for government purposes. USA search engines are required to track who is searching for what and keep that data for a number of years. A profile is being built on everyone. BTW a good alternative is https://startpage.com I recommend you check it out. And also learn more about privacy and tracking on their site. Heck you can get a link to the AOL search engine leak where you can search and see who was searching for what. They've kindly hidden the actual user details but they have them.

    That being said, I have no idea if Pokemon GO is actually used for it. But anything that is used by millions of people is a perfect vehicle for profiling people and gathering other data.

    It is not being a conspiracy theorist to simply acknowledge the reality... the existence of these things.
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2016
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  16. neginfinity

    neginfinity

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    I poked around the web, the part is about putin asking to ban pokemon go is a hogwash.

    The reality is that a member of communist party of russia proposed to ban the game out of concerns that it could be used by CIA for some sort of anti-russian activity. The request was directed towards head of FSB and there's no official response.

    Here's russian news article you can google-translate: http://www.interfax.ru/russia/519531

    For all practical purposes,the game could be still used by pretty much any intelligence agency, though, and the tracking data could be sold to anyone. Then again the same thing could be happening with google tracking data, facebook tracking data, etc.
     
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  17. Kiwasi

    Kiwasi

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    Who cares? I mean honestly.

    I understand this might be a big deal if we were talking about some middle eastern dictator. But we are not. We are talking about a semi modern democracy. One of the brilliant parts of democracy is that if you don't like a government, or what they are doing, you can vote them out.

    So what if someone has data that says I've walked around the block a dozen times this week looking for an Abra. The data is hardly useful to an intelligence agency anyway. A quick facebook search will tell people where I live, where I work, who I hang out with. And it will be much faster then trying to track my location through a game.

    If you are doing something wrong, then you probably should be smart enough to do it on a phone that isn't linked to your ID. And you should probably not play Pokemon Go while you do it. Or as an alternative you could simply be a law abiding citizen.
     
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  18. MD_Reptile

    MD_Reptile

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    Oh come the !/÷% on.... don't believe everything you read online! Don't assume anything... if any big agency wants data from x company... they will have it.
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2016
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  19. neginfinity

    neginfinity

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    Umm.
    This doesn't work when you live in a different country. Or when elections are rigged.

    And this doesn't work when the government is corrupt or does not really care about well-being of a specific person.

    There were occurrences where an innocent people were wrongfully accused and sent to prison, sometimes for decades.

    IMO, the less breadcrumbs are stored somewhere, the better. You can never know when the data can leak and how it can be used.
     
  20. Billy4184

    Billy4184

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    Well, anyone who plays pokemon go is probably not worth spying on! But I wouldn't be surprised if the app was used to push the boundaries of what people consider private. That's the way it's usually played - you push the private information boundaries back with something benign, wait a little bit, and then you find that 'Homeland security' or whatever is suddenly working within new boundaries of what is considered public information.

    I'm not incredibly concerned with it, but I would feel a lot better if we had one or two more planets to go to in case this one turned into a pressure cooker.
     
  21. JasonBricco

    JasonBricco

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    This is entirely based on our knowledge and our perception of reality. The main problem comes when things are hidden and we don't know what's actually going on. That's when the democracy doesn't work properly.
     
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  22. Billy4184

    Billy4184

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    I'll join the queue and respond to this comment as well!

    I find it a little bit uncomfortable when people talk about democratic society in terms of an individual, it assumes that:

    - The society as a whole wants the same things as the individual;
    - The society as a whole is as intelligent and perceptive as the individual;
    - The society as a whole has the same information as the individual;

    Now don't get me wrong, I'm not knocking democracy from it's perch as the least worst possibility, but let's not get ahead of ourselves and start confusing collective and individual politics. And besides, I wonder how many people have ever really asked themselves where candidates sprang from, and what degree of control democracy loses at these initial stages?

    Anyway, not to derail, I don't really want to talk politics or anything, just trying to point out that telling me that I can vote someone out, when I'm part of a democracy, is inherently false.
     
  23. neginfinity

    neginfinity

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    Good point. A country will first protect interests of the country and THEN interests of the citizens. Meaning if interests of a citizen conflicts with interests of the country, interests of the country take priority.

    Either way, going back to the Pokemon GO.

    There were concerns about:
    1. Hacked versions of the game that steal private data.
    2. Robbers luring people into secluded locations. (see this)
    3. Potential hazard to safety on railroad stations.
    4. People hunting pokemon in churches.

    Also, according to google translated version of the russian article I linked before, apparently head of russian ministry of culture thinks that all video games are evil. (Who cares, though).
     
  24. Gekigengar

    Gekigengar

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    Pokemon GO does not upload data from the AR to the server, that would've been crazy, people would've noticed the amount of data usage, especially in areas with limited data usage such as ours on where we have to pay for each megabyte transfer.

    Anyhow, your smartphone by default already tracks more of your data than this app's permission, you have nothing to worry about if you have already turned on your smartphone.
     
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  25. Ryiah

    Ryiah

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    There was a poll taken a while back and the conclusion was that half of Americans believe the elections are rigged.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-election-primaries-poll-idUSKCN0XO0ZR

    That said it was a poll. Chances are it was rigged too. :p

    After all why be concerned over a video game when your computer's OS is already spying like crazy?

    https://www.engadget.com/2016/07/21/france-objects-to-windows-10-user-tracking/
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2016
  26. orb

    orb

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    There, I fixed it!

    This is the time they install microphones and cameras in your house!

    They already have it! Shouting loudly in the press about companies withholding information is just acting to lull us into a false sense of security!

    Pokémon Go is made in Unity, therefore Unity Technologies have ties to the CIA, NSA and who knows how many other TLAs and ETLAs!
     
  27. Kiwasi

    Kiwasi

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    I got in trouble last time I suggested that. But my last visit did nothing to convince me you are wrong. Admittedly the airport gives a somewhat biased picture of society.

    :p
     
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  28. eses

    eses

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    I find it amusing, that people in general appear to be like lemmings when it comes to matters like this. Like we were living in some la-la land... maybe it's so scary to talk about these issues, fear of losing job and such? Be in line, do not stray away from the path :)

    Niantec was already discussed in other Pokemon thread, I bet not a single person clicked the link:
    http://forum.unity3d.com/threads/was-pokemon-go-made-with-unity.415391/page-2#post-2711109

    1. It's quite clear that Niantec has connection to Keyhole inc. via it's founder John Hanke.

    2. Hanke's Keyhole Inc. was into geospatial data visualization applications, was funded partially by the CIA's venture capital firm In-Q-Tel. It was acquired by Google.

    3. So the connection is this Hanke character.

    Anyone can guess what the weight of this connection there is, joe average can't know for sure what Hanke is up to - ever. But researching this could reveal more details pointing to *any direction* - who knows.

    Maybe everyone is already so "used" to being spied on, because this agenda has been pushed on "us" sheeple since this "war of terror" not "war on terror" began in turn of millennium...

    I bet all kinds of spying, increasing surveillance, new security laws, weapon bans, fear mongering about terrorists etc typical problem-reaction-solution rhetoric from our leaders is OK for most of the people - until the point where we are once again playing game called "WW", it's almost 100 years since last one, so peons starts to be ripe to be manipulated into such event soon. Last time, there was 60 million+ frags scored, don't know which side won - except those who setup the theater.

    Anyway, I find it most amusing, that people start pointing at cartoon "dictatorship" boogey men somewhere out there - best tyrannies and dictatorships are the ones people are not aware of they are living in already.
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2016
  29. landon912

    landon912

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    Why would they do that? The NSA already mines this stuff from everything you do online. I don't see why they'd pay.
     
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  30. tiggus

    tiggus

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    Intelligence these days is based on big data(well it has for awhile). Pokemon geolocation data offers nothing that is not already being collected from your various devices in conjunction with your device provider(cell towers etc.), that is just the facts. If you are a suspect they can pull the data for the last celltower you pinged a lot easier than trying to find out your freakin pokemon game id to get less accurate data.

    If conspiracy theorists want to go wild(and they will), that is fine, but the idea that Pokemon Go is this new awesome data source is funny. When users are being convicted based on Pokemon Go data then I will eat my words, but I am betting stingray devices and plain old call records are way way more efficient.
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2016
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  31. LaneFox

    LaneFox

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    Imagine a James Bond film where they use Pokemon Go to get spy intel instead of James.

    Welcome to the real world, Mr. Bond
     
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  32. eses

    eses

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    @tiggus

    How about using useful idiots?

    Lure all poke-people to town square and have your next terrorist attack in style of Nice / Munich?

    Be more creative - it's not about data from tool but how you could use the tool.

    And no - this is not a conspiracy theory, just common sense thinking.
     
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  33. tiggus

    tiggus

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    It's possible to subvert many tools to cause great harm. I don't see this as being any different. A van full of fertilizer is a hell of a lot easier than some elaborate pokemon lure trap.
     
  34. landon912

    landon912

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    I hear this a lot, but all I see is that you have way too much trust in people. Did you know that the average person commits multiple federal offenses each day, unknowingly? You probably don't, because you're not informed of the extreme shift towards complexity and vagueness in federal law. Who really is? But why is law getting so complicated? Because it gives flexibility to prosecutors against you. It's simply not possible for the average citizen to be aware of our countries law in the modern day, but imagine that some powerful people decided that they don't quite like you based on political, social, or other values. They now have the power to scroll through your past and nail you with some obscure law everyone forget existed.

    Conspiracy theory! Conspiracy theory! No, not at all. At least in the US, we have a ripe history documenting this. I completely do not endorse the groups that some of these victims were a part of, however there is never a time in which I believe the government should simply ruin lives(or murder) because they've decided that you are a pain in the ass. These are cases in which they've admitted to doing awful things, and nobody cares because all those affected are dead. It'd be insane to think that this stuff just hasn't gotten worse over time as more tools are given to them.

    We all say, "oh, just vote the corrupt out" but we all know how that's working. It hasn't, it doesn't, and it seems it never will work. Hell, look at the two presidential candidates. Look at all the stuff that came out about the DNC yesterday. If you open your eyes, you see a great system sagging under the weight of corruption and personal greed.

    Part of keeping democracy successful is citizens doing their part of keeping the government in check and in control. It seems in modern day, we have no fear of our country sliding back into a place we don't like. Probably not in our lifetimes, but in the future? History does repeat itself, and it doesn't seem we are doing our best in preventing it.

    I wish to ensure my right to privacy, it's sad when everyone just shrugs their shoulders in carelessness. This stuff isn't about today, it's all about the future. You might trust today's government(and I do too), but what about in 50 years? Can you say without a doubt, that you want whoever may be elected(or not) to have all these powers? I know we don't talk about politics here, so I'll stop here. I just believe we're setting many dangerous precedents today that may backfire in the future.
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2016
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  35. eses

    eses

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    @tiggus

    "It's possible to subvert many tools to cause great harm. I don't see this as being any different. A van full of fertilizer is a hell of a lot easier than some elaborate pokemon lure trap."

    You missed the point, seeing only data, so I gave you a hint.

    If you don't see this as any different, doesn't matter. It's potentially one more useful tool for such operations, not less/more meaningful because others exist.

    Van full of fertilizer seldom does any harm (a la McVeigh story) - unless you have many people at one spot.
     
  36. tiggus

    tiggus

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    Regardless of your feelings on privacy, as long as data is being made available in an easily collectable format, it will be collected. Consumers are eager to provide that data in exchange for services it provides. The cat was let out of the bag a long time ago on this one and it will never go back in. Also it is hardly just the USA doing it, every country that has the means is doing the exact same thing whether they tell you or not.

    It is hardly just govt. anyways, make a list of network providers, CDN providers, DNS providers, etc. and they have so much data on every transaction that happens on the internet it is unbelievable. Yes, they are using big data stores too and many of them are starting up network security divisions now to capitalize on it since they see all the connections that pass through their services, so they can sell that data analysis to customers and agencies. When a new attack is seen on the internet these are the guys crunching the data to map out who did it and who was affected.

    It would be a mistake to interpret my statements as being "I don't care", since everything I said is just facts and nothing to do with my opinion on whether it is right or wrong.
     
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  37. GarBenjamin

    GarBenjamin

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    You know... there is a game in here. A Big Brother kind of game where an average Jane or Joe slowly comes to realize that every single action they take is being tracked and then they stumble upon their profile. The profile has ratings such as risk factors of Enemy of State, Drug usage, Suspicious Activity, etc. And they find out they are rated at certain levels and completely innocent things they do increase their "danger" ratings.

    I wonder how many people even realize that simply picking up a couple of boxes of Sudafed earns suspicion points. Or that buying a certain combination of everyday items at their local Walmart (and likely other stores) requires the cashier to report them? Or that withdrawing more than $500 cash from their bank is an indicator of being up to no good? Of course, not every person who works at these places will pay enough attention to the rules to actually do these things or even know about them so that is a good thing.

    The game can be a very cool thing because you could simply have it be about all of the real things that happen and the player may be like "this is crazy!! I'm not even doing anything wrong yet I am on these lists and my profile in general makes it look like I am a pretty shady character! And once I am on that list I can't seem to get off. And no matter what I do my profile points never go down... they either stay the same or increase! I am so glad real life isn't this way" and then you put something in there at the end that tells them all of the things they encountered were based on reality.
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2016
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  38. tiggus

    tiggus

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    That actually would be a pretty good idea for a social media site(yes, the irony). You could track your daily activities on it and share your score with friends.

    "I opened a TOR browser today -500 reputation".

    Actually, just signing up for the game would inherently give you a lower score!
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2016
  39. neginfinity

    neginfinity

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    Thinking about it...

    Wouldn't it be hilarious if someone who's really concerned about privacy, security and cryptography would occasionally receive an email when launching TOR: "You used TOR today. WE KNOW.". Bonus fun points if it originates from government agency address.
     
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  40. orb

    orb

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    I've been listening to a ton of podcasts which have nothing to do with gaming, and every one of them talks about Pokémon Go (or Pokémon in general). I think I have determined what its REAL nefarious purpose is. The truth may shock you.

    I heard that you get eggs at times (I guess through breeding or something?), and to hatch them you need to walk 5km or more. You know what that means? IT'S REALLY AN EXERCISE APP!

    BIG GYM IS TRYING TO CONTROL YOU!
     
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  41. Socrates

    Socrates

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    I honestly do not think that the government needs some super secret Pokemon tracking to catch most criminals. I work in criminal law. (I am not a lawyer.) I routinely work on cases where criminals do things so absolutely stupid that I wonder how these people are capable of dressing and feeding themselves on a daily basis.

    This is not to say that some additional data might not help catch a few criminals. Additional usable data is always helpful to finding the suspect and/or prosecution. However, the kind of data produced by a massive collection like Pokemon Go is not going to be "usable" to most law enforcement. There simply would be too much data to do any good. In the US, we can't even manage to create a well-functioning national database of fingerprint evidence for using in investigations; I just don't see the same government who fails at something that damn useful being able to put a few billion points of Pokemon data into anything remotely resembling a useful system.

    So, yeah, I don't believe in the conspiracy theories not because I don't think there are people who would love to create such a system, but because I've worked with and for both federal and state government in different careers over the years and I have no faith in any bureaucracy being able to be as effective as many large-scale conspiracy theories would require them to be. If it's three people in an office gaming the system, that I've seen is possible. Large scale conspiracy? Requires too much competence of the the type that quickly breaks down the more people you add to any project.
     
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  42. Kiwasi

    Kiwasi

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    So, amid all of the tinfoil hat stuff going on in this thread, it's also worth considering all of the positive benefits of government agencies having more data.

    A government with accurate demographic data can build and find schools appropriately. A government with access to healthcare data can make appropriate choices on drugs to fund, and where to put research money. A government with data on where and how each person travels can make better decisions about public transport and roading. A government with robust financial data can make sound economic policy.

    Which ever way you slice it, more data enables better decisions. That's why most people consider it part of their civic duty to fill out the census. It's why people will often volunteer data.

    So if Pokemon Go data means some neighbourhoods get park upgrades, I'm all for governments extracting the data.
     
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  43. Billy4184

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    Well I can sort of understand Russia's problem, I mean it's less of a risk to grab pokemon screenshots than it is to send a bunch of 'tourists' to make a survey of Moscow. And no doubt pokemon would get Russian youngsters eager to explore parts of the city that they might otherwise not have had any reason to explore - such as nuclear facilities...?

    As for people in the Western world, at this point there's nothing in and of itself that I think is suspicious, it's just that it's a perfect way to get a society to adopt new 'rules' of public data gathering that they might not have had, for example, the chief of the NSA kindly asked them to.

    @BoredMormon there's always a potential upside to a heavily dependent relationship. The question being though, what do you do if it all goes wrong, and you don't know how to (or simply cannot) become independent?
     
  44. tedthebug

    tedthebug

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    The news here reported that an Indonesian minister (they had footage) warned the police not to play while on duty. He also announced that tourists had been caught wandering around military installations chasing Pokemon.
     
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  45. I_Am_DreReid

    I_Am_DreReid

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    Even tho i have no intentions of playing Pokemon go, i do believe the article is based on nothing but paranoia.
     
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  46. neoshaman

    neoshaman

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    Or you know continue the tradition of environmental racism, pernicious gentrification and many indirect tactics ... It's been done, it's still done :confused:
     
  47. Kiwasi

    Kiwasi

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    I don't really understand the question. The governed are heavily dependent on the government. A government is heavily dependent on the governed. It's the way governance works.
     
  48. Billy4184

    Billy4184

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    It's also a relationship that both parties must struggle to maintain in balance. It's not simply a question of saying "oh, we're dependent, I guess I just do whatever you tell me?" - like everything in life, it's a balance of forces and each are pushing for an advantage.

    Which is why something that the government might impose that has clear benefits may also have not-so-clear costs. As an environmental engineering student I studied loads of natural disasters where for example a mining corporation secured a permit in some third world country by building schools and giving jobs, and proceeded to pollute rivers that thousands of people depended on for their basic resources, before disappearing a few years later. A government works the same way, they also want something from you, and you have to keep your eyes peeled for problems. They might allow Pokemon to access certain data in the name of having fun, then other apps can do it too, and then they can use it to invade the privacy of people that are working against their interests.

    Also, governments and politics change, and as a society you don't want to wrap yourself up like a christmas gift for all eternity to whoever happens to come into power at the wrong moment.

    As an interesting side note, there's a theory that civilizations go through a period of rise and decay, the decay being preceded by heavy governmental regulation and control that stifles and restricts the ability of the civilization to adapt to new challenges. If there ever was a time where that was true ...
     
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  49. Kiwasi

    Kiwasi

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    Not one I've heard before. But sounds a very plausible theory to have been produced by someone with an anti government agenda. It doesn't match up with anything I've seen studying history.
     
  50. Billy4184

    Billy4184

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    I don't have an anti-government agenda, I think government is absolutely necessary for civilization to exist. But if you look at nature for an example, from where we came, and from which we drew all those parts of ourselves which are fairly outside our own ability to objectively examine, there is no example of a governance that is not driven by domination and exploitation. If our society is different, it is only by degrees and not by principle. We didn't just wake up one day as newly enlightened, divine beings.

    All I'm saying is that a government, democratically elected or otherwise, is not steered by some sort of magic to always keep the best interests of its citizens at heart. Every law is a risk and any good citizen should see it as such, and evaluate it according to the best of their knowledge and ability. And one of the best ways to avoid risk is to draw a clear line as to where governments are allowed to exert control and where they are not.

    And to tie this back into the thread, would it be really surprising to find out that the data gathered by Pokemon Go's developers was found to be of interest to government organisations, and they were forced to share it?
     
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