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Jakarta Post

Pokémon Go endangers national security, spy chief says

  • Marguerite Afra Sapiie
    Marguerite Afra Sapiie

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Fri, July 22, 2016   /  12:51 pm
Pokémon Go endangers national security, spy chief says People play 'Pokemon Go' in Bung Karno Stadium in Jakarta on July 17. Although the augmented-reality game has not been officially launched in Indonesia, Indonesian players had nevertheless started playing the game that took the world by storm. (The Jakarta Post/Donny Fernando)

Following bans issued by several government offices, the chief of the State Intelligence Agency (BIN), Sutiyoso, is warning that the popular augmented-reality game Pokemon Go might endanger national security and he urged people not to play the game at the country's vital installations over fears they would breach security.

The use of GPS and smartphone cameras made it possible for the players to unknowingly provide intelligence information to foreign countries, especially when they played the game in police or military headquarters, Sutiyoso said.

"The game has a high possibility to endanger national security," Sutiyoso told journalists on Thursday.

The intelligence body did not have the authority to block the globally popular game, he added, but parents could help the country by stopping their children from playing Pokémon Go in the nation's vital installations.

(Read also : Child commission warns about danger of Pokemon Go games)

Sutiyoso echoes a statement made by Defense Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu, who said the game could be used as a surveillance tool to detect secret information for foreign intelligence while the players were using their phones to collect digital monsters in the augmented reality game.

The State Palace, the Indonesian Military (TNI) and the National Police had already issued restrictions against employees and visitors from hunting the game's virtual creatures on their premises over security concerns. The House of Representatives is also considering banning Pokemon Go from being played in the House complex because it was a "useless and purposeless" activity, Speaker Ade Komarudin said on Wednesday.

Launched in July, the free-to-play game became a global sensation. Players engage in monster hunting in the real world. (rin)

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