US Marine Corps banned from block reward mining

The U.S. Marine Corps is banning service members from accessing a range of applications using their government-issued mobile devices, including block reward mining apps.

The Marine Corps published a memo on July 28 giving new directions regarding the use of commercial apps on ‘government-furnished equipment (GFE) mobile devices.’ As per the memo, service members can no longer use GFE mobile devices to access block reward mining applications.

The memo also prohibited the members from accessing gaming, dating, gambling and security bypass applications. It also bans “applications expressly designed to access work-inappropriate content of an obscene or illegal nature.”

While the Marine Corps uses automated means to prevent the installation of prohibited apps, it urged its members to report any app that manages to bypass these means. Servicemen are also warned to exercise caution when using apps that record video or audio, even if the app isn’t blacklisted.

Additionally, they must be on the lookout when using apps that can monitor GPS as they can be used to disclose their travel habits and consequently, the Marine Corps’ facilities.

The Marine Corps recognized that some of the commercial applications are critical to the members and play a big role in enabling them to improve their effectiveness. However, “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 didn’t prohibit the marines from block reward mining with their own equipment, nor did it disclose any specific issue the Marine Corps had with the activity.

This isn’t the first time that Pentagon has prohibited the use of certain apps by service members. Back in 2018, it prohibited the use of fitness tracking apps, claiming they posed a danger to the military officers. The apps were being used to reveal the heatmap of the officers, especially in warzones like Syria. This made it easy for enemy forces to map out the military bases and put the soldiers’ lives in danger.

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