At this point we’ve probably accepted the NSA tapping into our phones and emails, but have you ever put any thought into the NSA is also tapping into online video games such as ‘World of Warcraft’ and ‘Second Life’?
Yes, the Resident you’ve been interacting with on the grid might just be a government agent looking to foil any terrorist plots that are originating within this gaming platform.
In 2008, the NSA came out with a document entitled ‘Exploiting Terrorist Use of Games & Virtual Environments’. Games were considered a “target-rich communications network” where terrorists could “hide in plain sight.”
As a result, agencies including the NSA and GCHQ have been tapping into games such as ‘World of Warcraft’ and ‘Second Life’ to search for terrorist groups who may be sharing information. Agencies are looking into buddylists as well as biometrics and audio and visual information shared via cameras and headsets. Did your girlfriend break up with you while you were in the middle of a quest? Guess what? The NSA probably knows about it.
With the amount of agents combing through online games, it almost comes as a surprise to say that there has been no discovery of terrorist activity.
According to Blizzard Entertainment, creators of ‘WoW’, there has been no involvement into any spying on their end. “We are unaware of any surveillance taking place. If it was, it would have been done without our knowledge or permission,” Blizzard issued in a statement.
However, Linden Lab, the producers of ‘Second Life’, allegedly spoke with the NSA at one point saying that ‘Second Life’ supplies “the opportunity to understand the motivation, context and consequent behaviors of non-Americans through observation, without leaving US soil.”
Both Linden Lab and Microsoft did not comment on whether or not they were aware of the NSA or GCHQ currently tapping into their gaming platforms.
So the next time you decide to yell out an attack mantra, be careful! You never know who may be listening.
Source: The Guardian