The CIA’s “Pokémon Go” App is Doing What the Patriot Act Can’t

pokemongoBy James Corbett, The International Forecaster

Privacy advocates (that’s establishment speak for “normal human beings”) celebrated earlier this week as the House rejected yet another attempt to expand the Patriot Act’s snooping provisions. House Resolution 5606, better known by its Orwellian name, the “Anti-terrorism Information Sharing is Strength Act,” would have allowed Big Brother to access Americans’ financial information based on what the government deems to be “suspicious activity.” Given that the DHS has labeled such things as using binoculars, paying with cash, or even “appearing normal” as “possible terrorist activity” in the past (thus making pretty much every human being a possible terrorist), everyone can breathe a sigh of relief that the bill failed.

But don’t breathe that sigh too deeply, because exactly as that threat to privacy was being extinguished, another one was rising to take its place. It goes by the name of “Pokémon Go” and it is a so-called “augmented reality” game that allows users to capture, train and battle virtual Pokémon by chasing them around through real world environments with your smart phone.

Full disclosure: Although I live in the land of anime and video games, I have never played any Pokémon games, watched any of the shows, read any of the comics or bought any of the toys associated with the franchise. I don’t know anything about it except for the name of that ubiquitous yellow Pikachu character. So if you are an out-of-touch fuddy-duddy like me, you may be surprised to learn that the “Pokémon Go” app, launched just one week ago, is the hottest thing on the planet right now.

To put into perspective just how popular this game is, it topped the App Store’s “Top Grossing” category within 24 hours of its release. Now, just one week out, 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. But here’s the truly mind-boggling part: In just the first two trading days after the game’s release, Nintendo’s market value rose a staggering $7.5 billion. That’s right, folks, this is not merely a game, it is a phenomenon.

For those unfamiliar with “augmented reality” gaming, it’s a type of game where one tracks virtual characters or objects that appear on their smart phones through real world environments. The Pokémon Go game is prompting scores of people out into the streets to go chasing for wild Pokémon to capture.

It is also prompting heists, violence, hoaxes and hysteria.

pokemonilluminatiOn the more innocuous side, some restaurants and businesses are already trying to cash in on their proximity to spots with a lot of in-game activity. On the less innocuous side, robbers are now using “Lures” (which attract Pokémon to a certain spot) to lure gamers in to be mugged. One 19-year-old hunting for water Pokémon in a rural river ended up uncovering a dead body, one IT executive got fired from his job after an online Facebook tirade inspired by frustration at the game, and one YouTuber who was live streaming the game while out Ubering allegedly saw someone get murdered right in front of him…but that turned out to be a hoax.

If you’re wondering what’s going on here, you’re not the only one. It seems the Internet is flipping its collective lid over this app as the line between gaming and the real world gets blurrier. But perhaps all of this pales in comparison to the game’s terms and conditions.

Firstly, the app requires an excessive amount of permissions on a user’s device, including the ability to read your contacts, find accounts on your device, and access your camera. The app even requires full access to a user’s Google account, which it can then use to read your emails, send emails from your account, browse your Google Drive documents and photos, etc. But apparently that’s just “a mistake” and will be “corrected soon.”

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Secondly, the game’s privacy policy contains such gems as: “We may disclose any information about you (or your authorized child) that is in our possession or control to government or law enforcement officials or private parties.” What could go wrong?

But wait, it gets worse!

pokemoncia-e1468423010231The maker of the app? Niantic Labs. Never heard of them? That’s because until last year they were an internal start-up of none other than Google, the NSA-linked Big Brother company. Even now Google remains one of Niantic’s major backers. Niantic was founded by John Hanke, who also founded Keyhole, Inc., the mapping company which was created with seed money from In-Q-Tel, the CIA’s venture capital arm, and which was eventually rolled into Google Maps.

So yes, the Pokémon game currently taking the Internet by storm (and scooping up all their data, including activities, movements and communications) was created by a CIA-linked businessman who gestated his company at Google.

Feeling safe yet?

As it turns out, the big, bad Big Brother Spies of the NSA and the DHS and the CIA don’t really need their Patriot Act powers, after all. All the powers-that-shouldn’t-be need to do is create a fun, shiny trinket for the people to play with and they will literally pay for their own surveillance.

Welcome to the “Matrix Economy,” where people pay to spy on themselves…and have fun doing it!

Huxley would be proud.

James Corbett writes for The International Forecaster, where this article first appeared. More of his articles and videos can also be found at

Also Read: Will “Pokemon Go” Be Used To Catch Us All?

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10 Comments on "The CIA’s “Pokémon Go” App is Doing What the Patriot Act Can’t"

  1. I had long suspected that the Activist Post (AP) is an alternative news outlet that is part of the controlled opposition. I have seen several of the writers staying within a certain distance of the official narrative regarding certain events and stories. After doing a lot of digging and verification of news articles, I have concluded with almost 100 % certainty that the AP(Associate Press) Controls AP (Activist Post). James Corbett is probably the most sourced journalist I have ever followed and supported and I was gravely disappointed to discover some recent trends in his work which caused me to question his loyalties. He ignored me and finally censored me for asking qualifying questions. A journalist that is loyal to the truth should never ignore or censor questions that can get to the heart of the information that they present, unless they are not being forthright with their motives or slants/spins. In such cases, then censorship should be exercised with stringency. Excellent Job Jimmy, excellent job.

    The rabbit holes are many and often times can take a man places that he doesn’t want to go, but in search for sound truth, the best thing to have as a foundational protection against the many wiles of the serpent and to maintain stability of sanity is the sure foundation of the Word of God. He shall never fail. Every Word of God is sure and is truly a strong tower to all those that put their trust in Him:)

    • So…. to sum up, you are a truth seeker but you rely on the Word of God, which was transcribed by men with a massive, very transparent agenda to keep us from the truth. This is why the serpent is winning.

      I’m not at all sure what you are claiming about James Corbett. Your statement is confusing but somehow implying that James has been “hacked” and no longer a reliable source. He is a trusted source for many people so perhaps you might qualify your claim with some facts, otherwise your alternative viewpoint is nothing but a diversionary side tunnel in the rabbit hole.

      • Regarding the post from ( nochipforme )My thoughts exactly. These people my write really eloquently and add God to the picture, but I’m glad people can see thru their deceitful ways.
        Thanks for responding to, nochipforme

  2. i dont care about my privacy at all lul

  3. ftw.

  4. lollipops children!…

  5. Your preaching and condescending tone is disgusting. Who gave you permission and the authority to threaten people with eternal torments? Get off your knees and grow up.

  6. It must really be wonderful to be a religious zealot. That way you don’t have to do any actual thinking for yourself, you can just cut and paste unintelligible nonsense and threaten anyone who doesn’t buy it with hell, damnation, eternal torments and other scary crap. It’s pathetic and I’m tired of playing nice with religious zealots who interrupt the adults trying to find actual solutions to the problems created by religious zealots.

    • Whenever someone believes a lie and is on the losing side of truth in any type of debate, they usually resort to personal attacks against the messenger(s) of the the truth that they do not choose to believe. It’s a commonly known occurrence. You would do better to either be silent or to change your mind. Your ignorance is showing. You might want to tuck that back in.

  7. Never mind. Go back to your regular scheduled programming. You’ll find it much more pleasurably satisfying.

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