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The Ease of Tracking Mobile Phones of U.S. Soldiers in Hot Spots


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A soldier on his cellphone.

There are continuing concerns that commercial data generated by mobile phones and other digital services used by military forces is available for purchase by the nation's adversaries.

Credit: sealgrinderpt.com

While working on a prototype surveillance tool in 2016 to monitor the movement of refugees from Syria to Europe and the U.S., analysts at the now-defunct U.S. defense contractor PlanetRisk Inc. found they could use location data from apps on soldiers' mobile phones to track U.S. military operations.

There are continuing concerns that commercial data being generated by mobile phones and other digital services, including those used by military forces, is available for purchase by the nation's adversaries.

This comes as the U.S. has found it difficult to monitor which software is being installed by soldiers on their devices and whether it is secure.

Such concerns prompted U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Rand Paul to introduce legislation that would require the U.S. government to obtain a warrant before accessing commercial data on Americans.

Separate legislation in the works would restrict the sale of U.S. data to foreign buyers.

From The Wall Street Journal
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