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Archive for December, 2013

“undercover as orcs and blood elves”

Careful, World of Warcraft gamers.  The NSA is looking for terrorists among you.

Spies with surveillance agencies in the United States and United Kingdom may have spent time undercover as orcs and blood elves, infiltrating video games like “World of Warcraft” in a hunt for terrorists “hiding in plain sight” online.

That’s the finding of the most recent round of documents released by National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden to British newspaper The Guardian.

Agents from the CIA, FBI and Pentagon and England’s Government Communications Headquarters infiltrated WoW and virtual world “Second Life,” as well as collecting information on the Xbox Live gaming network, according to the documents.

A 2008 NSA memo called online gaming a “target-rich communications network” where terrorists could communicate “in plain sight.”

Really the best comments were from Rose, who shared the link with me:

I can just imagine a bunch of NSA guys sitting around saying “I bet we can get paid to play WoW.”
“Yeah, we’ll say we’re looking for spies, yeah, that’s it!”
Try as I might to be less cynical, the article provides more evidence for that position:
But apparently so many agents were engaged in playing video games for national security that a “deconfliction” group was created to make sure government agents weren’t accidentally spying on each other.
Well played, guys.  Well played.
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