Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past month you have likely heard of the Pokémon Go phenomenon. While the game is only available “officially” (hacks are said to be available) in a few countries, it certainly hasn’t stopped some rather strange Pokémon Go-related occurrences happening across the world–including the rumor that the game is a government initiated ploy to aid government intelligence services with endless surveillance drones.
Recent reports have indicated users finding dead bodies, witnessing car accidents and actually assisting authorities in various arrests with footage at the crime scene. It’s no surprise that there have been some crazy real-life events reported while people have been chasing after a Pikachu and his cohorts.
If you’ve been out of the loop, Pokémon Go is a brand new mobile game from Niantic and the Pokémon Company where you use your smartphone’s camera to capture Pokémon in the real world. But in order to find them, you physically have to travel around in order to collect items at PokéStops, battle at Pokémon Gyms and discover new Pokémon items, all of which are mapped to your actual real-world location and nearby landmarks.
As soon as you open the app you’re reminded to be aware of your surroundings as you play, but that hasn’t stopped these crazy events from occurring.
Pokémon Go is irrefutably the biggest sensation on the internet today. Kids and adults alike (male or female, fat or thin, gamers or non gamers alike) are suddenly parading around their now-populated neighborhoods with their chins tucked in, gazing down into their smartphones as they seek out the rarest of Pokémon in their immediate location (or they’ll just settle for Pidgey, who’s pretty much everywhere).
Let’s put in perspective just how popular this game really is–it topped the APP store’s “Top Grossing” category within 24 hours of its release. It has been downloaded an estimated 7.5 million times in the US alone and is generating an estimated $1.6 million a day for Nintendo. Nintendo’s market value rose to a staggering $7.5 billion, that’s right, billion. The Pokemon Go game is promoting scores of people out into the streets to go chasing for the wild Pokemon to capture. Invasive? I would say so.
SO invasive, in fact, that Pokémon Go is believed to be a government surveillance ploy that robs its users of their privacy and subsequently acts as government support drones. Ridiculous? See for yourself.
Is Pokémon Go a SPY tool?
Think about it–a game that promotes observation through rewards, and has you traveling vast distances in an effort to collect virtual items, ultimately promoting heists, violence, hoaxes and hysteria. This is starting to sound like the start of a James Bond film, but is it as big of a deal as the internet is making it out to be? I’m not so sure, but it’s something worth mentioning as the evidence is quite compelling.
- By downloading the app, not only do you give the game access to your location and camera (which I understand is required for a location-based augmented reality game), but, considering you use your Google account to sign in (which it recommends), they have FULL access to all of that information as well — our emails, pics, documents, web searches, all of it.
- Niantic is the company responsible for “Pokémon Go” and was founded by a man named John Hanke, a man whose OTHER company, Keyhole (which was acquired by Google in 2004), happened to receive funding from a government firm called In-Q-Tel, a venture capital firm whose own funding came courtesy of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), whose mission is to collect, analyze and distribute geospatial intelligence, according to testimony provided by Gawker.
- Not only that, but Niantic’s own website copy suspiciously describes the the efforts of their company (written July 6, 2016 — the day the Pokémon app became available) as such: “exploiting the capabilities of smartphones and location technology and through building a unique massively scalable server and global location dataset.”
So, you be the judge, is Pokémon Go spying on you? The Pokémon Go game currently taking the internet by storm (and lets not forget scooping up all their data, including activities, movements and communications) is ultimately created by a government linked business venture. It sounds like we’ve entered the realm of “The Matrix” where people pay good money to spy on themselves and have fun doing it. Always remember it’s all just fun and games until you fall victim to some crazy scheme.