I refer, of course, not to the joint statement today by Google, Microsoft, Apple, Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo, LinkedIn, and AOL pushing back against government spying, which can be seen at reformgovernmentsurveillance.com.
The even bigger threat to the NSA and GCHQ (UK signals intelligence) may be the revelation this morning that, as the NYT puts it, “Spies’ Dragnet Reaches a Playing Field of Elves and Trolls.” Yes, the national surveillance state has “infiltrated the fantasy worlds of World of Warcraft and Second Life,” creating “make-believe characters to snoop and to try to recruit informers.” But according to Peter W. Singer of the Brookings Institution, “for terror groups looking to keep their communications secret, there are far more effective and easier ways to do so than putting on a troll avatar.”
Never got beyond Pong and Pac-Man myself, so all I can imagine is that irate gamers are going to try to gobble up the virtual NSA spies.
- Spies’ Dragnet Reaches a Playing Field of Elves and Trolls – New York Times (nytimes.com)
- World of Spycraft: NSA and CIA Spied in Online Games (propublica.org)
- Revealed: spy agencies’ covert push to infiltrate virtual world of online games (theguardian.com)
- Report: The NSA Has Undercover World of Warcraft Agents (gizmodo.co.uk)
- Major tech companies push for limits on government surveillance – Reuters (reuters.com)
- Tech firms seek surveillance reform (bbc.co.uk)