Could Online Fantasy Games be Used as a Networking Tool for Terrorists?

In today’s New York Times, Mark Mazetti and Justin Elliot discuss American and British spies’ use of the popular online fantasy games World of Warcraft and Second Life as tools to perform surveillance and undermine the networking efforts of terrorists and other criminals. Their article, Spies’ Dragnet Reaches a Playing Field of Elves and Trollsdiscusses documents recently disclosed by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, revealing that intelligence agencies maintain a presence in the gaming communities in order to limit opportunities for terrorist and criminal networks to engage in secret communications, transfer money, or even plot attacks. Mazetti and Elliot discuss the balance that must be found between the average user’s privacy concerns and the intelligence value of online gaming networks (which many argue is fairly low).

The article can be found in its entirety here:

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/10/world/spies-dragnet-reaches-a-playing-field-of-elves-and-trolls.html?pagewanted=3&_r=0&hp

 

 

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