Popular Islamic app that sells location data for the US military
Popular Islamic app that sells location data for the US military

According to a report published in the online magazine Motherboard, the US military is purchasing location data from a mobile app that has thousands of Muslim users for other purposes in order to combat terrorism.

The Muslim Pro Prayer app, which has been downloaded more than 98 million times worldwide, is one of the main providers of US military website data.

The app provides Quran records and reminds users to pray and read specific verses from the Quran. It also uses the device's current location to remind Muslim users during prayer.

The data collected from Islamic Pro and other apps with a large user base in the Middle East is sourced from a company called X-Mode.

In addition to "Site X," "Modus X" also receives location data directly from the app and then sells it to a contractor (in this case the Pentagon).

USSOCOM obtained permission to use Locate X to support Special Forces overseas operations.

USSOCOM deals with counterterrorism, insurgency, and special intelligence issues.

Meanwhile, US Army affiliates - Sierra Nevada and System and Technology Research acquired user tracking service from X-Mode.

While the report does not clearly state that Islamic location data obtained from these companies was used in military attacks, it does indicate that the Pentagon has done so in the past.

The contract and other reports signed by USSOCOM and Locate X are the first evidence that Americans have provided military authorities with location data from law enforcement agencies.

According to government procurement records, US Special Operations Command spent $ 90,656 in April to access location data provided by Babel Street via a smartphone app.

Babel Street sells a product called Locate X that allows users to select an area on a map and display the movement of devices in that area.

The report said: The war has killed thousands of civilians in military operations in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iraq. We are not aware of any specific U.S. military actions that use app-based location data.

Unlike Islamic Pro apps, Islamic apps (like Muslim Mingle) also sell location data to X-Mode.

X-Mode mentioned that it tracks a user's location across 400 apps, and all of those apps have special codes that the company can track.

If their app has 50,000 daily active users, the company pays app developers $ 1,500 a month.

X-Mode said: We are licensing data to a small number of tech companies that can work with government military departments. However, our cooperation with these contractors is international and focuses on three use cases: against terrorism, cybersecurity, and predicting the future of coronavirus hotspots.

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