NSA, GCHQ íplanted agentsí into World of Warcraft, Second Life to spy on gamers
The NSA and the UKís GCHQ spying agencies have collected playersí charts and deployed real-life agents into online World of Warcraft and Second Life games, a new leak by whistleblower Edward Snowden has revealed.
An NSA document from 2008, titled ďExploiting Terrorist Use of Games & Virtual Environments,Ē was published Monday by The Guardian in partnership with The New York Times and ProPublica.
In the report, the agency warned of the risk of leaving games communities under-monitored and described them as a "target-rich communications network" where intelligence targets could ďhide in plain sight.Ē
The document showed that the US and UK spy agencies were collecting large amounts of data in the Xbox Live console network, which has more than 48 million players.
Real-life agents have been deployed into the World of Warcraft multiplayer online role-playing game and the virtual world of Second Life, in which people interact with each other through avatars.
The NSA and GCHQ also tried to recruit potential informants among the gamers, the report said.
The NSA had so many agents inside the games that a special "de-confliction" group was set up to make sure they wouldnít hamper each otherís operations.
If analyzed properly, the online games can become a major source of intelligence data, the unnamed author of the paper stressed.
They could be used to build pictures of the playersí social networks, obtain their photos and geographical locations, as well as gather their communications. The games were also a convenient window for hacking attacks, the report said.
However, the document provided no information about terrorist plots uncovered via online games surveillance, or any proof of terrorist organizations using them for communication.
The document only stated that: ďAl-Qaeda terrorist target selectorsÖ have been found associated with XboxLive, Second Life, World of Warcraft, and other GVEs [Games and Virtual Environments].Ē
Other NSA targets mentioned in the report include ďChinese hackers, an Iranian nuclear scientist, Hezbollah and Hamas members.Ē
The paper provides only one example when spying in online games managed to produce a piece of usable intelligence data.
Read the full article at: rt.com
Latest News from our Front Page
Amid Russia tensions, US nuclear bombers to conduct military drills in Sweden
The Pentagon is planning to send nuclear bombers to Sweden for a military exercise next month amid growing tensions with Russia over the Ukraine crisis.
The warplanes, the B-52 Stratofortress, will participate in a naval exercise on June 13, Swedish general Karl Engelbrektson said.
They are set to fly from the United States nonstop and simulate a drop of anti-ship mines near ...
'Netanyahu to US: Give 50% more money, we'll shut up'
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is asking the United States to provide Tel Aviv 50 percent more money for weapons and ‚Äúwe‚Äôll shut up‚ÄĚ on Iran nuclear talks, an author and investigative journalist in Philadelphia says.
Dave Lindorff made the remarks in a phone interview with Press TV on Wednesday while commenting on a report which says Israel has asked Washington ...
Britain To Outlaw "Hate" and "Extremism"
UK home secretary Theresa May : "But what we're talking about is they key values that underline our society and are being undermined by the extremists. Values like democracy, a belief in democracy, a belief in the rule of law. A belief in tolerance ...eh... for other people. Equality and acceptance for other people's faith and religions.
One of the great ...
Killer robots will leave humans 'utterly defenceless' warns professor
Robots, called LAWS ‚Äď lethal autonomous weapons systems ‚Äď will be able to kill without human intervention.
Killer robots which are being developed by the US military ‚Äėwill leave humans utterly defenceless‚Äė, an academic has warned.
Two programmes commissioned by the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) are seeking to create drones which can track and kill targets even when ...
Here's how much corporations paid US senators to fast-track the TPP bill
Critics of the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership are unlikely to be silenced by an analysis of the flood of money it took to push the pact over its latest hurdle.
A decade in the making, the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is reaching its climax and as Congress hotly debates the biggest trade deal in a generation, its backers have turned on the ...
|More News » |