US Marines Corps ban crypto mining apps from their devices

The Marine Corps is concerned that cryptocurrency mining applications pose a security risk for service members

Image of US Marines in South Korea
The memo places “Bitcoin/Cryptocurrency Mining Tools” on a list of prohibited application types, alongside dating, games and gambling apps

The US Marine Corps (USMC) has banned the use of cryptocurrency mining applications, alongside other apps, on government mobile devices. According to the information made available, this decision was made following privacy and security concerns.

“The collection, use, and disposition of information for account creation or made available through mobile applications (e.g., physical locations, significant life events, images, videos, etc.) is a privacy and security concern,” the memo reads.

Aside from crypto mining apps, the marines are also not allowed to have gaming, dating or gambling platforms on any mobile devices issued by the government. The memo urges users to delete any apps that the US Government believes pose a risk from their personal devices as well.

This is not the first time the military has banned applications for cybersecurity reasons. Earlier this year, all branches of the military formally banned its service members from installing TikTok, the popular video-sharing application from China, on their government-issued phones. This was due to concerns that the app could be an avenue for the Chinese Government to collect data and spy on American citizens.

“… the threat posed through facial recognition, location data, and A.I. based image scanning techniques could allow the Chinese government to obtain sensitive information. In the wrong hands, this information poses a risk, not only to the individual involved but to American national security.” Senator Marco Rubio, the representative of Florida, wrote in a statement to the Military Times.

Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas and Senator Chuck Schumer of New York followed this with a request for the government to conduct an intelligence assessment of other Chinese-owned platforms. The two senators reason that although these apps store US data on home soil, they are still obligated to follow data-sharing regulations that have been established by the Chinese Government.

A TikTok spokesman assured that the social app is ready to work with the US Congress to earn the trust of its users and regulators. They also added that their data is not subject to Chinese law and that it does not censor any content deemed offensive by the Chinese Government.

Lieutenant Colonel Uriah Orland clarified that cybersecurity threats are not isolated to TikTok and that all Department of Defense personnel should exercise caution when making any public or social media posts.
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