For a lot gamers, playing video games is method of escape. A means to leave all your real life issues, nuances and responsibilities behind and head into a world where you can become whoever you want. You can slay dragons, take down terrorists, score a hat-trick and ride a magical pony all night long before you have to start your McJob at 8 in the morning. We clock in to our virtual worlds to clock-out of the real world where corruption, dishonesty and deceit run free. Well, it turns out, they've found a way into our magical lair and have bugged the darn place.
From a report in the Guardian
, The NSA and it's UK sister, GCHQ, have made their way into our virtual sanctuary. They're in Azeroth, they're on Xbox
Live and they're in whatever they're in on Second Life – I have no idea where they hang out in Second Life. The NSA and GCHQ have "built mass-collection capabilities against the Xbox Live console network
" and have sent out "agents" to roam the land of Warcraft and Second Life.
Apparently the federal government sees online gaming communities as "target rich communication networks
" that are just waiting to be exploited. They believe that because online communities are so isolated and niche and almost everyone uses a screen name, bad things could happen. Of course, they kicked our virtual door in with a "terrorism prevention" warrant and waltzed right in."The ability to extract communications from talk channels in games would be necessary, the NSA paper argued, because of the potential for them to be used to communicate anonymously: Second Life was enabling anonymous texts and planning to introduce voice calls, while game noticeboards could, it states, be used to share information on the web addresses of terrorism forums."
We all know how unlikely it is for radicalist terrorists to plot a devastating attack over an Xbox Live party chat and they're surely not sending a "/whisper" either in WoW. So, we're fine on that part. If anything, they could be overwhelmed with the amount of profanity, racism and discrimination found online and just rage quit.
So, not only are they in your email, forums, phone calls and text messages but they're also on your friends list. Be weary.Source