The Washington Times reported on Thursday that a Department of Defense source revealed a Pentagon memo issued on July 17 announced that the playing of popular mobile game Pokémon Go was prohibited at all U.S. military properties.
Citing security risks, which include potential exposure of secret location information, the announcement warned that employing a mobile device’s Global Positioning System (GPS), in conjunction with Google Maps, as Pokémon Go uses, could make sensitive data susceptible to foreign spies.
Pentagon spokesman Gordon Trowbridge met with the press Friday to address questions about the single-source report and added that the Department has asked Defense personnel not to download the game on their work phones.
“I think taxpayers would appreciate government phones being used for government business,” said Trowbridge. “We have asked . . . that Defense Department personnel avoid putting (Pokémon Go) and similar games on their government issued mobile devices.”
Mr. Trowbridge also contradicted the Washington Times source, however, telling reporters that “there is no ban on playing” the game on Defense property.
The Times also claimed that a Pokémon “gym” had been designated in the Pentagon’s courtyard area where employees could play the game on their lunch breaks, but the spokesman could not confirm or deny its existence.
Fellow Pentagon spokesman, Jeff Davis, however, told the media that he “can confirm” the Pokémon gym is real, although visual evidence of its location has been removed after a time public visibility, undoubtedly for security reasons.
[Washington Times] [Military Times] [Japan Today] [Photo courtesy Twitter/@]