Spies’ Dragnet Reaches a Playing Field of Elves and Trolls
(New York Times)Spy agencies in covert push to infiltrate virtual world of online gaming
(The Guardian)World of Spycraft: NSA and CIA Spied in Online Games
The money shot, as far as I'm concerned:Eager to cash in on the government’s growing interest in virtual worlds, several large private contractors have spent years pitching their services to American intelligence agencies. In one 66-page document from 2007, part of the cache released by Mr. Snowden, the contracting giant SAIC promoted its ability to support “intelligence collection in the game space,” and warned that online games could be used by militant groups to recruit followers and could provide “terrorist organizations with a powerful platform to reach core target audiences.”
Certain contractors stand to make money off the most unlikely projects, whether they have a good chance of catching real terrorists or not.
On the one hand, it's frightening that the US government increasingly views its own citizens as threats. On the other, its system of private contractors and government projects is so ridiculously corrupt and incompetent that more and more of its funds are being siphoned away into the most absurd, quixotic projects -- like these ones.
Hopefully, as the apparatus of repression becomes more and more corrupt, it will become less and less effective. So, let the spooks waste their time and funding on watching the trade chat trolls. Every hour an NSA employee spends trying to see secret Al Quaeda messages in lame sexual banter and elitists' whining is one hour that employee doesn't spend investigating activists.
If I were to confront them about this, though, I'd ask one question:
"Do any of you guys know how to read and speak Arabic? You know, the language of our worst enemies?"
I mean, really.
Looks like the NSA is indeed leveling its paladins on the taxpayer dime. The latest crop of Snowden revelations has hit the media, and it's a lulu: