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Posts with tag terrorism

Pentagon presents hypothetical terrorist plot in WoW

A number of readers wrote in to tell us about a 'hypothetical WoW-hatched terror plot' from the Pentagon, which Wired posted just last night. The scenario detailed in the presentation given by Dr. Dwight V. Toavs is meant to display how terrorists could potentially use the pseudonymity of an MMO combined with the obscure gamer lingo to hide a terrorist plot within the massive, mostly unmonitored (by them) playerbase. This isn't the first time we've heard about the government looking to virtual worlds for potential terrorist hideouts, but it's the most ridiculous.

The presented scenario is as follows (summarized; full version at Wired): Two WoW players, WAR_MONGER and TALON238 meet up to plot. WAR_MONGER lays out the plan: They will approach via the South East of the Zoram Strand, and assault the 'White Keep' using a 'Dragon Fire' spell in their inventory. They will kill all of the 'castle guards' and when they've entered the keep, they will acquire their treasure of 110 gold, 234 silver.

Translation: These two terrorists will meet South East of the White House (the White Keep) and take out all of the security before sneaking a weapon of some sort through. The 'treasure' is the coordinates for their attack.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, Humor

PBS covers the government's intrusion into online worlds


This clip, from PBS' Bill Moyers Journal, is notable for a number of reasons. First of all, I'm fairly sure this is the most balanced, objective look at MMORPGs I've ever seen in mass media -- they talk about both Second Life and World of Warcraft, but there isn't a single mention of addiction or cluelessness or any of the other stuff mass media throws at us.

And it's also a good look at what was behind all the hubbub about the government searching for terrorists in WoW -- in truth, the fact that the government is interested in online communities isn't that huge a deal (who isn't interested in MMOs?), but the fact that they're doing it with the justification of terrorism is a much more disturbing discovery. And this piece then goes into the larger problems with this lately -- that the government is dipping into all kinds of supposedly private communications outlets with this lame justification of searching for terrorists.

Nice piece, but especially so because of that very even look at our favorite past time. If only all reporters were so objective.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, News items, Account Security

Sunday Morning Funnies: Infiltration and escape

This morning, we have quite a few comics for you to peruse before you head out and start your day, including the February winner of Blizzard's Honorable Comic Contest. From poking a bit of fun at the election process to rooting out those terrorists, we've got you covered.
Make the jump to submit your vote!

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Filed under: Polls, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Humor, Screenshots, Comics, Sunday Morning Funnies

Thrall gets a new big brother: US government wants to search for terrorists on WoW

The Rogue in your next instance or battleground may just be a spy- not from the opposite faction, from the United States Government. The Office of the Director of National Intelligence submitted a report to Congress [Via Wired] on their plans to use data mining in virtual communities to root out spies. The project will involve sifting through vast amounts of data, looking for suspicious behavior and actions. The Intelligence Community wants to target MMOs because they typically fall outside the purview of study. The spying project would only use publicly available data. The findings of the endeavor would not be classified.

Data mining is the process of going through large amounts of information for specific relevant information. This is a process that has long been used in the business industry for product and market research. The government plans to use these same techniques to root out terrorist messages in online content.

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Filed under: Virtual selves, Odds and ends, News items, Forums

Culture of terror seeps into WoW

I believe it was George Jellinek who said, "The history of a people is found in its videogames." Err, wait, maybe that was something else. At any rate, it's true that the entertainment of a people reflects its culture, and so it might come as no surprise that twice in the past few days a couple of real-life mashups have appeared around the WoW community.

First, MBAzeroth continues it's Daily Blink series with a story that the Alliance has actually invaded Canada. Apparently, the Horde insurgents found there pushed them over the line, and despite the protests of gamers, Katrina Prestor and her armies are taking over the Great White North.

With good reason, maybe, because this forum post tells a mashup story of an Orc arrested on suspicion of creating a nuclear bomb. Talho reports that a 70 Orc was caught mining Uranium Ore (at a skill much higher than 375), and using tradeskill alts and Goblin Engineers to assemble a bomb outside Ironforge. The Chinese are even involved-- apparently they were assisting with farming materials for the weapon. President Bush, says Talho, has dispatched two 25-man PvP raids in retaliation.

At a time when advertisements for a cartoon are causing bomb scares in Boston, it's interesting that the mood of our time is even seeping into this game we play.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Odds and ends

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