Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor, has released information saying that world governments are spying on people in World of Warcraft
, Second Life
, and Xbox Live
. The governments believe the games and communication systems can be used for terrorism.
Blizzard responded to ProPublica
about the leak, saying that they "are unaware of any surveillance taking place. If it was, it would have been done without our knowledge or permission."
Obviously no one likes to hear about being under unnecessary surveillance, and while we won't get into the debate over a government's right to monitor various groups, it's important to remember that this surveillance is nothing new. We've known for years that the U.S. government believes WoW
and games like it can be used for nefarious purposes, including those related to terrorism. In 2009 we learned that the FBI even went as far as to hold virtual exercises
in what terrorism conversations in the game might look like. In 2008 a public report to congress detailed the plans of the Director of National Intelligence to data mine conversations in WoW
. PBS' Bill Moyers even did a report
Keep this in mind today as the news spreads around the internet. We've known for a long time, it's just being made a deal now due to the Snowden leaks.
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