Strava's Fitness App Might Have Revealed Secret Military Bases

Image Strava

Image Strava

The map is not live - rather it shows a pattern of accumulated activity between 2015 and September a year ago.

It posted the Global Heat Map online in November 2017, which shows a pattern of accumulated activity over the two-year period, shows activity in war zones and deserts in countries including Iraq and Syria.

The Washington Post reports that cities in the United States and Europe show up as "blazes of light" because of the amount of activity, but in warzones such as Iraq and Syria the map "becomes nearly entirely dark - except for scattered pinpricks of activity" which align with known USA bases, and other "potentially sensitive sites".

But he noted that the map also lights up activity around known or suspected US military sites, offering a trove of details about activity inside the bases, the possible exercise habits of soldiers - information that could be very unsafe for a hostile enemy to obtain. But the military, the news outlet reported, did not respond to a question about existing regulations for using fitness-tracking apps. Far from discouraging Strava-using devices, the Pentagon handed out 2,500 Fitbits to personnel in 2013.

According to an analyst quoted by The Guardian, although the heatmap "looks very pretty", it's not fantastic for operational security at USA military bases that are clearly identifiable and mappable.

Ruser zoomed in on Syria, and discovered where the US soldiers were knowingly and secretly located. But in recent days, independent military experts have noticed the map discloses the locations of one normally secretive set of fitness buffs: military personnel from the US and other Western nations, deployed at sensitive locations around the globe. But it is not hard, he said, to map the activity to known, or roughly known, US military sites, and then glean further information. Most of the bases that can be seen are already publicly known.

"In Syria, known coalition (ie US) bases light up the night", writes analyst Tobias Schneider.

Palestinians strangle, burn cardboard cuts of Trump and Pence
The rise in militancy was believed to be tied to Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital on December 6. And they would still support a two-state solution if that's what the Israelis and the Palestinians would support.

But among the three million Global Positioning System data points released are military bases in Afghanistan and Syria.

Concentrations of light inside a base may indicate where concentrations of troops live, eat or work, suggesting possible targets for enemies who wished to target the base.

In locations like Afghanistan, Djibouti and Syria, the users of Strava seem to be nearly exclusively foreign military personnel, meaning that bases stand out brightly.

The revelations have piqued concerns among observers and security experts around the world.

Former British army officer Nick Waters tweeted that the information "could be turned into actionable intelligence".

Information for this article was contributed by Dan Lamothe of The Washington Post.

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