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The government feels that Videogames are being used for terrorism?

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posted on Sep, 16 2008 @ 04:11 PM
Seriously? Does anyone believe this could really happen? What is the point, why wouldn't terrorists just use other means of communication?

The American military and intelligence communities are increasingly worried that would-be bin Ladens might gather in a virtual world, to plan a real-life attack. But the spies haven't given many details, about how it might be done. Now, a Pentagon researcher has laid out how such a terror plot might unfold. The planning ground is World of Warcraft. The main target of this possibly nuclear strike: the White House.

There's been no public proof to date of terrorists hatching plots in virtual worlds. But online spaces like World of Warcraft are making some spooks, generals and Congressmen extremely nervous. They imagine terrorists rehearsing attacks in these worlds, just like the U.S. military trains with commercial shoot-em-up games. They worry that the massively multiplayer games make it incredibly easy to gather plotters from around the world. But, mostly, virtual worlds are nerve-wracking to spies because they're so hard to monitor. The accounts are pseudonymous. The access is global. The jargon is thick. And most of the spy agencies' employees aren't exactly level-70 shamans.

In a presentation late last week at the Director of National Intelligence Open Source Conference in Washington, Dr. Dwight Toavs, a professor at the Pentagon-funded National Defense University, gave a bit of a primer on virtual worlds to an audience largely ignorant about what happens in these online spaces. Then he launched into a scenario, to demonstrate how a meatspace plot might be hidden by in-game chatter.

In it, two World of Warcraft players discuss a raid on the "White Keep" inside the "Stonetalon Mountains." The major objective is to set off a "Dragon Fire spell" inside, and make off with "110 Gold and 234 Silver" in treasure. "No one will dance there for a hundred years after this spell is cast," one player, "war_monger," crows.

Except, in this case, the White Keep is at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. "Dragon Fire" is an unconventional weapon. And "110 Gold and 234 Silver" tells the plotters how to align the game's map with one of Washington, D.C.

The fictional plot was originally developed by Dan Arey, for the Director of National Intelligence's Summer Hard Problems workshop, or SHARP. And its details are a little fuzzy. The terminology doesn't match World of Warcraft lingo, all that precisely. There is no "White Keep" in World of Warcraft; "Dragon Fire" is a spell in EverQuest, the old-school role-playing game, not WoW. But the banter is reminiscent enough of World of Warcraft talk, to give outsiders an idea of how such a conversation might go down -- and how hard it would be to identify.

Steven Aftergood, the Federation of the American Scientists analyst who's been following the intelligence community for years, wonders how realistic these sorts of scenarios are, really. "This concern is out there. But it has to be viewed in context. It's the job of intelligence agencies to anticipate threats and counter them. With that orientation, they're always going to give more weight to a particular scenario than an objective analysis would allow," he tells Danger Room. "Could terrorists use Second Life? Sure, they can use anything. But is it a significant augmentation? That's not obvious. It's a scenario that an intelligence officer is duty-bound to consider. That's all."

Toavs, for one, believes that spies will have to spend more time in virtual worlds like WoW, if they want to have a hope of keeping tabs on what goes on inside 'em. Which means, some day soon, we might find secret agents in World of Warcraft, along with the druids and orcs and night elves.


[edit on 16-9-2008 by rocksarerocks]

posted on Sep, 16 2008 @ 05:35 PM
Yes, they REALLY believe this. Now, why wouldn't terrorists drop in a VoIP server, with PRE-SHARED KEYS, in a country that is hostile to the United States, and use secure, encrypted voice communication from any free wi-fi spot in the United States.

If they are too stupid to figure that out, why should we believe they are competent enough to do anything more complicated?


[edit on 16-9-2008 by sir_chancealot]

posted on Sep, 16 2008 @ 06:20 PM
Well if they say 110 gold and 234 silver then that would mean something is obviously up. Because that is 112 gold and 34 silver.

And that pretty much sums up how clueless these people are.

Maybe it's because of the Ron Paul guild....

posted on Sep, 16 2008 @ 07:26 PM
I find it to be pretty funny. I wonder if the Al Queda really know how to play WOW.

posted on Sep, 16 2008 @ 07:37 PM
Surely they'd be better off playing the 'Armored Fury' mod (or even 'Project Reality' mod) of Battlefield Two, where you can fly jets and helicopters, shoot guns and drive armor, and set off C4 rather than practice their ability to cast spells...unless there's something they haven't told us!!!

...and with VOIP Teamspeak and XFire you can keep tabs on which of your friends is where and what they're playing so it's easy meat to meet up.

I think the spies are bored and just needed an excuse to play WOW, though why anyone would want to hang with the emos is beyond me!

[edit on 16/9/08 by ChChKiwi]

posted on Sep, 17 2008 @ 12:29 AM
Well seeing as the only terrorism is being done by the US government I doubt Bush needed to log on WoW to plan 9/11 and start wars in the middle east.
They have telephones for that and bilderburg meetings.

posted on Sep, 17 2008 @ 05:46 PM
I think it'd be funny if real terrorists tried to use WOW. I can just see them getting addicted, and too lethargic to carry out acts of violence.

posted on Sep, 17 2008 @ 06:00 PM

Love it.

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