Privacy and security concerns have prompted the United States Marine Corps to ban the use of cryptocurrency mining software and applications on state-owned mobile devices.
According to Marine Corps Times, the directive came at the end of July in an official letter signed by a Marine administrator.
Alongwith the banning of any cryptocurrency mining software or applications, military personnel are prohibited from installing or using any gaming, gambling or dating platforms and applications on government-issued mobile devices.
A full list of applications that have either been given the green or red light by the US military will be sent out to personnel. Unauthorized applications or software will be automatically deleted from devices by the military’s management server.
Echoes of Trump
This clamp-down on software that is deemed to be a privacy or security risk goes further than just cryptocurrency-focused applications.
US president Donald Trump made headlines around the world as he went on the offensive against Chinese-developed video sharing app TikTok. The Trump administration has cited concerns over potential national security risks posed by the application and the data that could be collected by Bytedance, the company which developed and runs TikTok.
Trump is pushing to ban the application in the United States, although it is unclear whether the US President has the power to make such a directive. In order to continue operating in America, the company has 45 days to facilitate a deal for a US-based company to take control of TikTok’s operations in the country.
The US Military has already banned its personnel from installing or using TikTok on government-owned devices in December 2019 citing concerns of the app posing a cybersecurity threat.
Crypto mining on government devices amounts to theft.
Perhaps more importantly, any military personnel that install cryptocurrency mining tools or applications on government devices would essentially be committing theft.
As the initial report from Marine Corps Times highlights, using government-owned hardware to obtain cryptocurrencies would amount to theft, as the user is using a resource that does not belong to them in order to enrich themselves.
It is not clear if Army personnel have actually been using government-issue devices in order to mine various altcoins.
Smartphone crypto mining apps easy to access
It is fairly easy to download and install smartphone applications that use your device to mine various cryptocurrencies.
MinerGate is one of the most popular smartphone applications, which allows users to set up an account and mine a number of different cryptocurrency tokens on different mining pools.
Mining cryptocurrencies on a mobile device is highly unlikely to net users a lot of cryptocurrency, but it’s one way to slowly accumulate small amounts of tokens. This method is far more suited to alt coins, as the likes of Bitcoin and Ethereum mining requires powerful mining hardware.