More than game avatars and characters, spies and terrorists are said to be hiding as pixels to discuss plans and recruit members.
A new report suggests that the National Security Agency's spying activities go beyond the walls of the real world. According to a secret document disclosed by Edward Snowden, the NSA and its sister agency, the Government Communications Headquarters or GCHQ, infiltrated online gaming communities in hopes of uncovering terrorist activities and plots.
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The 2008 document, titled "Exploiting Terrorist Use of Games & Virtual Environments," revealed through The Guardian today, also shows that the agencies deployed real agents to search gaming communities, particularly Second Life and World of Warcraft. The document even reveals that Microsoft's Xbox Live network was also included in the list of targeted communities.
Although the NSA does not have a clear evidence to support its claim, the document shows that the project was able to link IP addresses and email addresses to suspected terrorist groups.
"Al-Qaida terrorist target selectors have been found associated with Xbox Live, Second Life, World of Warcraft, and other GVEs [games and virtual environments]. Other targets include Chinese hackers, an Iranian nuclear scientist, Hizballah, and Hamas members," the document noted.
The NSA has declined to comment on the report. You can read the document here.
Source: The Guardian