Israel: Don't Play Pokemon Go, the CIA Could be Watching

Thursday, August 11, 2016 |  Yossi Aloni

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin recently discussed with his security officials the discovery of a Pokemon at the President’s Residence, prompting a directive banning all staff from playing the viral mobile hit Pokemon Go at the compound.

The new guidelines read:

“A new game titled ‘Pokemon Go’ was recently released. For those unfamiliar, it is a mobile app the primary goal of which is to catch Pokemon. The game is played using the phone’s GPS, exposing the exact location of the player, and by default publishing a picture of the entire area where the player catches a Pokemon. As an interesting aside, there are conspiracy theories that link Niantic Labs, the maker of Pokemon Go, with the CIA, meaning the app’s true aim could be gathering information for American intelligence. You never know. The game has already been banned on IDF bases for fear of exposing sensitive locations.”

On July 13, Rivlin humorously posted to Twitter and Facebook after supposedly finding a Pokemon in the lounge of the President’s Residence. “Someone call security,” the president joked.

It was Rivlin’s grandchildren who introduced him to Pokemon Go and taught him how to play. He is said to have asked them if the game would get them off the couch more often. One of the children said yes, and noted some walk for hours hunting Pokemon. The president nodded his approval, but said he had not personally tried the game.

Incidentally, the image of a Pokemon at the President’s Residence that was posted by Rivlin is a fake. It was not actually taken in the lounge of his official compound, which is shielded, meaning Pokemon should not show up there.

Still, the president’s security officials feared the silly social media post would be taken by staff as permission to play Pokemon Go at the compound, and so issued the aforementioned directive.

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