AVN 65.45 Increased By ▲ 0.50 (0.77%)
BAFL 30.65 Decreased By ▼ -0.86 (-2.73%)
BOP 4.83 Increased By ▲ 0.04 (0.84%)
CNERGY 3.72 Decreased By ▼ -0.12 (-3.13%)
DFML 14.26 Decreased By ▼ -0.15 (-1.04%)
DGKC 41.06 Decreased By ▼ -0.54 (-1.3%)
EPCL 46.56 Decreased By ▼ -0.14 (-0.3%)
FCCL 11.35 Increased By ▲ 0.06 (0.53%)
FFL 5.03 Decreased By ▼ -0.02 (-0.4%)
FLYNG 5.78 Decreased By ▼ -0.04 (-0.69%)
GGL 10.28 Decreased By ▼ -0.17 (-1.63%)
HUBC 67.03 Increased By ▲ 1.39 (2.12%)
HUMNL 5.68 Increased By ▲ 0.02 (0.35%)
KAPCO 27.85 Increased By ▲ 0.10 (0.36%)
KEL 2.19 Increased By ▲ 0.04 (1.86%)
LOTCHEM 24.83 Increased By ▲ 0.48 (1.97%)
MLCF 21.37 Decreased By ▼ -0.11 (-0.51%)
NETSOL 84.20 Decreased By ▼ -0.59 (-0.7%)
OGDC 85.94 Decreased By ▼ -1.31 (-1.5%)
PAEL 11.01 Increased By ▲ 0.03 (0.27%)
PIBTL 4.17 Decreased By ▼ -0.05 (-1.18%)
PPL 74.56 Decreased By ▼ -1.14 (-1.51%)
PRL 13.40 Decreased By ▼ -0.25 (-1.83%)
SILK 0.92 Increased By ▲ 0.03 (3.37%)
SNGP 40.44 Decreased By ▼ -0.89 (-2.15%)
TELE 5.86 Increased By ▲ 0.01 (0.17%)
TPLP 15.42 Decreased By ▼ -0.22 (-1.41%)
TRG 111.63 Decreased By ▼ -0.07 (-0.06%)
UNITY 13.76 Decreased By ▼ -0.22 (-1.57%)
WTL 1.14 Decreased By ▼ -0.02 (-1.72%)
BR100 4,037 Decreased By -26.9 (-0.66%)
BR30 14,412 Decreased By -56.6 (-0.39%)
KSE100 40,471 Decreased By -262.4 (-0.64%)
KSE30 15,163 Decreased By -67.2 (-0.44%)
World

U.S. Military extracts data targeting Muslims from over 65 million devices worldwide

  • The United States Military, through a network of innocuous-looking mobile applications and multiple covert data streams, has been extracting an enormous amount of data - notably from a Muslim prayer and Quran application with over 98 million downloads worldwide.
Published November 17, 2020
Follow us

In the digital age, data has become a sought-after commodity, as it provides an insight into a complete spectrum of socio-economic behavior, including spending patterns, political inclination and voting preferences - which were openly harvested during the Brexit vote and the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election, as seen in the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

Yet, these blatant lapses in digital security are indicative of the fact that data is treated like another commodity, extracted and sold to the highest bidder; which sets a dangerous precedent when it comes to securing the fundamental liberties of the billions of users on the internet.

As reported by VICE News, the United States Military, through a network of innocuous-looking mobile applications and multiple covert data streams, has been extracting an enormous amount of data - notably from a Muslim prayer and Quran application with over 98 million downloads worldwide.

The report, through public records, interviews and technical analysis, has shown that the U.S. Military utilizes multiple data streams to obtain vast volumes of data - through companies referred to as Babel Street and X-Mode.

Babel Street creates a product called Locate X, and the U.S Special Operations Command (USSOCOM), which is a brand of the military tasked with counter-terrorism, counter-insurgency and special reconnaissance, bought access to the product to facilitate and assist in special forces operations overseas. On the other hand, X-Mode obtains location (or geo-tagged) data directly from mobile applications, and subsequently sells that data to military contractors in the United States.

A large former monitoring base of the National Security Agency (NSA) in Bad Aibling, Munich. Source: Reuters (2013).
A large former monitoring base of the National Security Agency (NSA) in Bad Aibling, Munich. Source: Reuters (2013).

The U.S. Military has often used geo-tagged location data for targeted drone strikes, as it remains unclear whether purchasing access to sensitive data from cellular and internet devices would immediately translate into a direct military function - yet the fact that this information has been deliberately undisclosed to the millions of users of the targeted applications remains a blatant violation of digital privacy laws, kept under the legislative protections of the Patriot Act.

The applications sending data to X-Mode include Muslim Pro, which sends reminders on prayer times and the direction of Mecca relative to the user's current location - it has been downloaded over 50 million times on Android, with over 98 million downloads across all other operating platforms (including iOS), and its users are predominantly Muslim. In a recent interview with CNN, Joshua Anton - CEO of X-Mode - stated that the company tracks 25 million devices inside the United States every month, with an additional 40 million devices scattered across the European Union, Latin America and the Asia-Pacific region.

The fact that the United States Military is extracting large volumes of geo-tagged location data through mobile applications majorly being used by Muslims is reflective of the fact that the country has been waging multiple costly wars across the Middle East since decades; as the Islamophobic hyper-anxiety against the Muslim community since the onset of the War on Terror continues to linger.

Comments

Comments are closed.

U.S. Military extracts data targeting Muslims from over 65 million devices worldwide

At least five injured in explosion near Quetta Police Lines

Pakistan expresses unflinching support for Kashmiris on Solidarity Day

China's oil demand bounce may push producers to reconsider output: IEA

Foreign authorities seeking properties/bank accounts info: FBR won’t intimate concerned taxpayer about request

Maryam says PTI chief Imran should be thrown out of politics

Qatar sends envoy to Afghan capital to meet with Taliban

Qatar airport aims to beat passenger record

UK's shortest-serving PM Liz Truss blames economic 'orthodoxy' for downfall

Saudi non-oil private sector activity jumps in January on higher output, orders

India to ban Chinese-linked betting and loan lending apps