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9-16-2008 @ 11:20AM
This is a perfect example of security theater. It's impossible to monitor every single medium that could allow terrorists to communicate, and communication is one of those things that they will find a way to do securely no matter what channels are monitored. Virtual worlds do not give terrorists any "value add" as a medium- the only difference between a virtual world and a chat room is the avatar and the game (if any).Wired quotes:"There's been no public proof to date of terrorists hatching plots in virtual worlds. "- that's because a virtual world is the same as a chat room, but you have an avatar that you can use to interact. Where's the value add? /bless and /hug your suicide bombers?"They worry that the massively multiplayer games make it incredibly easy to gather plotters from around the world"- Oh no! All over the world? You mean like email, TOR, or instant messaging do? Where's the added risk because this is a virtual world?"The accounts are pseudonymous. The access is global."- the accounts are no more anonymous than any other internet communication medium... less so if you consider how fast Blizzard would divulge your personal financial information if the CIA started asking them questions about your account. "The jargon is thick. And most of the spy agencies' employees aren't exactly level-70 shamans."- if they're worried that the "jargon" would allow them to communicate messages to eachother in a code, they've never bothered to read anything by Bruce Schneier. The "cryptotext" that is made to look like wow jargon would be more vulnerable to decryption by interested parties than the current industry standard encryption algorithms. Having codewords instead of a real encryption algorithm means you leave traces of your intent written all over the "codetext" for anyone who knows how to break them.The only reason this presentation was given is that security theater needs constant new "threats" to keep people scared so that security professionals can continue making a living by "securing" them. Virtual worlds are the most recent technology to be used as the bogeyman, but they're not the first and they won't be the last.
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