But soldiers – many of whom work in interrogations, human intelligence and counterintelligence – soon noticed that the terms of service of the app say it could collect significant amounts of personal data and that the developer had a presence abroad.
This raised widespread concern that the hack could put people and missions at risk globally, troopers said.
"We do secret work," says one authorized officer who, like others, spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of retaliation from their chain of command. "If our personal information is transmitted to foreign forces, what can our brigade get?"
Intelligence soldiers specialize in crossing enemy communications and bridegroom sources to provide information about their enemies, such as their location and what weapons or abilities they can have.
When deployed, some soldiers grow their hair and wear civilian clothes to obscure their military roles and not disclose their work outside the immediate family, said another signed officer in the 504s. [1
9659002] App permissions – suggesting that it can retrieve GPS location data, photos, contacts and even rewrite memory cards – frustrated soldiers who took extreme precautions they felt fascinated by Trotter and other senior executives.
"I'm just into intelligence, we're trained to be extremely paranoid about everything," said the soldier. "This is serious operational security that is not being considered."
The worst-case scenario, he said, was "our cover could be blown up." While the app said permissions could be deactivated, soldiers said there were failure of confidence was certain. Senior executives checked the phones of subordinates to make sure they installed the app, troopers said in the unit.
Advisers to governments and intelligence agencies give awards to people who collect and manage classified information, said David Forssey, managing director of Aspen
dating apps are all pieces of information that can be used to blackmail soldiers or force them to pass classified information, he said.
"One of the reasons for drug use is an issue in background investigations is that the US wants to see what people can compromise you," says Forsy.
Even the secrets gathered by a soldier are not obvious now, they could be useful later if linked to other data, Forssey said.
For example, he said he was convinced that there could be a large Chinese hack of US security permissions en paired with the theft of medical information at the Hymn's HQ to find US officials with access to classified information, who also can have large hospital bills – making them a primary purpose for operation.
And if a soldier leaves the military and enters the CIA or another agency, "it would be useful for China to understand who they are and how they look."
Therefore, US officials must balance the risk of disclosing sensitive information with potential payout. , he said, which was not clear about an application that delivers rudimentary updates, such as changes in training or timing.
The application developer, Straxis LLC, is based in Tulsa but has a branch in southern India. Consumer data is not stored on foreign servers and third parties do not have access to data, a company spokesman said.
Questions about security reviews during development, what user data was collected and development costs were directed to the 504th Military Intelligence Brigade, which did not address or make Trotter available.
Anxiety among Service employees spread Reddit and Army WTF! Instant Facebook page, a popular digital conversation for soldiers. The soldiers deleted the application in a riot. Trotter called another formation Wednesday to deal with the controversy, exhorting anyone to talk about the problem online, troopers said.
The application was later removed from both the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store.
"We are confident that appropriate security protocols have been put in place to protect personally identifiable information about our soldiers," the unit says, calling the application an unclassified communication tool. Straxis, the team said, has developed similar applications for other units.
The application was removed for a "pre-scheduled maintenance update" and will return to app stores, the department said, although they did not explain the timing of the removal.
On Wednesday, the brigade said soldiers had no "official obligation" to download the application.
A day later, she reversed the course, acknowledging that the application was initially "mandatory". but after "further discussion and feedback" from the troops on the squad, the team decided it was only "strongly promoting" the use of the app.
Soldiers were also disappointed with the legal review of an order to install an application on personal smartphones. Trotter told the troopers that he had been approved by army attorneys, they said, but it was not clear to the troopers whether Trotter could assign an application to their private devices.
A soldier said that he was often away from his wife and they were sending intimate pictures to each other. He cannot be sure if he will land on a server monitored by his commanders.
"I don't want anyone else to look at [breasts] my wife," he said.