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The Daily Show touches on the NSA in WoW

Last night Jon Stewart of The Daily Show weighed in, as he does, on the topic of the NSA/WoW news that hit yesterday regarding information released by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden. In rare form, Stewart ran a segment entitled That Thing They Said They're Not Doing? They're Totally Doing, in which he lambasted government efforts to downplay the NSA's role in gathering and stockpiling information via phone, internet, and now video games like Second Life and WoW. Being a comedian, Stewart took the opportunity to take several ridiculously funny, tongue-in-cheek shots at gamers in the process.

And if that weren't enough, self-proclaimed "proud dwarf paladin" Greychalk of Dun Morogh arrived on the scene to add even more comic relief. Of course, Greychalk seems to be more than a little confused about both the nebulous identities of people on the internet, and the class he plays -- his spell bar is chock full of priest spells. Oh, Greychalk. Silly Greychalk. That's not Holy Wrath you're casting, it's Smite. You can watch the segment above -- and you can catch the full episode on The Daily Show's website.


Filed under: News items, Humor

The NSA is still in your WoW, watching you kill internet dragons


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 on it.

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.

Filed under: News items

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