Doesn't the NSA understand when these game players talk about destroying the world, they aren't talking about the REAL world?
Not limiting their activities to the earthly realm, American and British spies have infiltrated the fantasy worlds of World of Warcraft and Second Life, conducting surveillance and scooping up data in the online games played by millions of people across the globe, according to newly disclosed classified documents.Apparently the spy agencies believed that World of Warcraft and Second Life could be used for communication between terrorist, and even help transfer funds.
Fearing that terrorist or criminal networks could use the games to communicate secretly, move money or plot attacks, the documents show, intelligence operatives have entered terrain populated by digital avatars that include elves, gnomes and supermodels.
The spies have created make-believe characters to snoop and to try to recruit informers, while also collecting data and contents of communications between players, according to the documents, disclosed by the former National Security Agency contractor Edward J. Snowden. Because militants often rely on features common to video games — fake identities, voice and text chats, a way to conduct financial transactions — American and British intelligence agencies worried that they might be operating there, according to the papers.
“Al-Qaida terrorist target selectors and … have been found associated with Xbox Live, Second Life, World of Warcraft, and other GVEs [Games and Virtual Environments],” the document says. “Other targets include Chinese hackers, an Iranian nuclear scientist, Hizballah, and Hamas members.”
OK, as NSA spying goes, this one is kind of on the silly side. I imagine there is a long shot possibility that games like these could theoretically be used for the nefarious purposes the NSA describes, but it's hard not to laugh at the prospect of some spies in the NSA spending their days on line fighting various monsters, completing quests, and interacting with other players--all on taxpayer money. I just hope Mr. Clapper has the government players restricted via the parental controls.