Pokémon Go is kinda the social movement of right now, which you may find strange and upsetting. Go to any public place and you are likely to see a gaggle of people huddled on their phones, catching Pokémon and checking in to Poké Stops to pick up items. It’s already eclipsed Tinder and Twitter in active users, and it added a fairly whopping $3 billion onto Nintendo‘s value.
It wouldn’t be a stretch to say that it’s easily the most successful augmented reality game or application ever released. But what if I told you… that it’s a CIA black ops surveillance program intended to give the United States government access to a vast trove of location data?
A poster on Reddit‘s conspiracy subreddit posited a reason as to why the government might have use for a mass location-collecting game like Pokémon Go.
Sounds nuts, right? Well, it probably is. But hey: the app sure does ask you for a lot of access from the get go – especially if you’re on Android.
— dade (@0xdade) July 11, 2016
Also. The Intercept journo Lee Fang tweeted a link to an article from a few months ago at gamesindustry.biz, in which the funding of Go developer Niantic is discussed.
Lol kind of interesting — CEO behind Pokemon GO met board member via mutual ties to CIA’s venture capital fund https://t.co/IWutabKGvT
— Lee Fang (@lhfang) July 11, 2016
Mmm. Here’s the relevant quote in question:
During my tenure at In-Q-Tell, I led the investment in John’s third company, Keyhole — which was acquired by Google and eventually became Google Earth — and have seen firsthand what is possible under his leadership. I am also thrilled and honored to be joining the Niantic Board of Directors and look forward to helping them realize their full potential in the emerging AR/VR/MR market.
In-Q-Tell, for the uninitiated, is basically the CIA’s venture capital firm. They’re technically independent from the CIA, but they invest in tech with the express intention of keeping the agency equipped with the latest in information technology.
So yes: Niantic CEO John Hanke founded Keyhole, which was funded by CIA investment, which later became Google Earth, which now powers your fun little pocket monster catching game which you’re allowing into your home and workplace.
As Ashley Feinberg at Gawker points out, it’s just a matter of the government putting a lure somewhere where they need location or spatial data and bam. Dozens of Pikachu-loving teens will be in there in a flash, capturing the kind of visual and GPS data that the spooks need to conquer the world and run it via a puppet government.
Not sayin’ anything… but when the jackbooted government thugs kick your door down and black bag you, just remember: it was because you caught that fuckin’ Pidgey.
Source: Twitter / Gawker.