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    The augmented reality mobile game Pokemon Go by Nintendo is shown on a smartphone screen in this photo illustration taken in Palm Springs, California U.S. July 11, 2016

    Keep Out! Pokémon Go Is Invading Military Sites Around the World

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    The mobile app that has become an instant worldwide hit since its limited release just a couple of weeks ago has already been blamed for a wave of crimes, traffic violations and even for being a security threat.

    Indonesia Bans Police and Army From Playing Pokemon Go

    Despite not yet being officially available in Indonesia, the game has become extremely popular in the world's most populous Islamic nation.

    Indonesian policemen were ordered not to play Pokemon Go while on duty, and military personnel will soon be banned from playing it during work hours as well, officials said on Wednesday, suggesting that the game's high-tech capabilities could pose a threat and be used in espionage.

    "Spying can come in different forms," said Indonesian Minister of Defense General (Retired) Ryamizard Ryacudu.

    Pokemon Gamer Detained at Indonesian Army Base

    The announcement of the police and troops ban came after a Frenchman accidentally wandered into a military base on Java Island as he was hunting for "pocket monsters." 27-year-old Romain Pierre was arrested on Tuesday at a checkpoint in the base near Cirebon, but was released a few hours later when it was determined that he had trespassed by accident.

    Israeli Army Forbids Pokemon Go in Embassies, Army Bases, Citing Security Threat

    Fearing that sensitive information about military bases and army operations would be revealed, the Israel Defense Forces have also issued a message to stop soldiers from using apps and social media networks, which allow pictures to be posted on the Internet. 

    "The game is a source for gathering information!" reads the warning, issued by the IDF's Information Security Department on July 14. "The game cannot be used on an army base!"

    The Israeli Foreign Ministry has also instructed diplomats and staff not to play the game in its embassies. "Because of security aspects, we have to be careful," Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon noted.

    Pokemons Getting US Troops in on Popular Game

    The "Pokemon Go" phenomenon has caught everyone's attention in the US army, too. Several military bases have sent out safety reminders to their servicemen in hopes of preventing injuries, accidents and security concerns.

    Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington reminded people not to break the law.

    Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina, put out a reminder to airmen to be aware of their surroundings.

    Likewise, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in Hawaii posted a reminder on Wednesday to those on or near base.

    The Marine Corps had a "problem" with Pokemon getting in the way.

    ​THe Virginia-based Radford Army Ammunition Plant on July 13 asked Pokemon Go fans to stay away. Lieutenant Colonel Alicia Masson, commander of the RAAP explained, "I caught a young man walking into our housing area holding his phone out in front of him, and he swore to me that there was a Charizard in our playground, and I politely explained to him that he was on federal property and that he needed to leave." In order to protect personnel and the public and make sure people know that the plant was no (Pokemon) go terrain, Commander Masson contacted the company, which promised to remove the location from the game within 7-14 days. Until then, there will be extra guards at the gates.

    Another military base, Whiting Field Naval Air Station, warned people to stop using the app while at the military installation. Anyone caught playing the game at the base could be disciplined, the base said in a statement on July 15.

    China Views Pokemon Go as a Threat to Its Military Bases

    While not yet available in China, conspiracy theories about the real purpose of the Pokemon game have surfaced on Chinese social media sites.

    "Don't play Pokemon GO!!! It's so the US and Japan can explore China's secret bases!" said one of the viral posts on Weibo, a Chinese microblogging site. "Then, when war breaks out, Japan and the US can easily target their guided missiles, and China will have been destroyed by the invasion of a Japanese-American game." Governments, however, are not acknowledging these fears.


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