Soldiers assigned to a military intelligence unit are claiming that they were forced to download an app that could be exploited by enemy agents, putting their work and lives at risk.
The order to download the app in question was issued by Colonel Deitra L. Trotter, the commander of the 504th Military Intelligence Brigade, who claimed the app would provide logistical value to the unit.
Soldiers who read the fine print on the app, however, noted that the foreign app developer has an uncomfortably large amount of access to their personal data.
“We do top-secret work,” one NCO told The Washington Post. “If our personal information is being put out there to a foreign power, what can they get from our brigade?”
The app’s permissions are rather far-reaching, with the ability to allow the program to rewrite memory cards, reveal GPS locations and access private photos.
“Just being in intelligence, we are trained to be extremely paranoid of everything,” the Soldier said. “This is serious operational security not being considered.”
While the app developer -Straxis LLC- is based in Tulsa, the company’s subsidiary is based in India. A company spokesperson claimed that user data wasn’t stored on foreign servers and third parties do not have access to data.
The 504th MI stated last week that Soldiers had no “formal obligation to download the app,” but later stated that the download was once “mandatory.”
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