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How the U.S. Military Buys Location Data from Ordinary Apps


The U.S. military is buying the granular movement data of people around the world, harvested from innocuous-seeming apps, Motherboard has learned. The most popular app among a group Motherboard analyzed connected to this sort of data sale is a Muslim prayer and Quran app that has more than 98 million downloads worldwide. Others include a Muslim dating app, a popular Craigslist app, an app for following storms, and a “level” app that can be used to help, for example, install shelves in a bedroom.

通过公开记录、与开发人员的访谈和技术分析,Motherboard发现了两个独立的平行数据流,美国军方使用或曾经使用过这两个数据流来获取位置数据。其中一个依赖于一家名为巴贝尔街(Babel Street)的公司,该公司创建了一个名为“定位X”的产品。美国特种作战司令部(USSOCOM)是负责反恐、平叛和特种侦察的一个分支,它购买了定位X的权限,以协助海外特种部队的行动。另一种是通过一家名为X-Mode的公司,该公司直接从应用程序中获取位置数据,然后将这些数据出售给承包商,进而出售给军方。

Through public records, interviews with developers, and technical analysis, Motherboard uncovered two separate, parallel data streams that the U.S. military uses, or has used, to obtain location data. One relies on a company called Babel Street, which creates a product called Locate X. U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM), a branch of the military tasked with counterterrorism, counterinsurgency, and special reconnaissance, bought access to Locate X to assist on overseas special forces operations. The other stream is through a company called X-Mode, which obtains location data directly from apps, then sells that data to contractors, and by extension, the military.

原文来自 Vice Motherboard