Pentagon assesses vetoing personal use of GPS after secret bases are revealed

US Secretary of Defense James Mattis is studying the possibility of banning agency officials from using electronic gadgets with GPS since they may be a “threat to the security” of the country.

Mattis had already considered the ban but decided to give serious consideration to the issue after the announcement last week that the use of an application had revealed several secret facilities.

In November last year, Strava, responsible for the development of applications related to the sports activity, released a heat map of the routes made by users between 2015 and 2017.

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The alert, however, came only this past weekend when one of the users noticed the unusual location of several of these routes, some in high-security regions or close to armed conflict, and decided to publish the discovery on the internet.

Other users entered the “game” and found routes in inhospitable regions, which could only be from exercises performed by military personnel operating in facilities known to the public.

Applying the same standard, users were able to identify secret military bases in the US and other countries.

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Although the map does not offer actual images of the installations, the drawings formed by the paths allow identifying several relevant information, such as the entry of the bases.

Pentagon spokeswoman Carla Gleason, speaking on the possibility of banning the use of this type of device, has simply said that the Department of Defense takes the threats to national security seriously and always reviews additional measures.

Should the ban be applied, the measure would affect not only the military abroad but also those working in the country and the approximately 22,000 Defense Department staff.

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