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Your tax dollars at work: Government spies snooped in 'Warcraft,' other games

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posted on Dec, 9 2013 @ 01:07 PM
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Well, we all knew that the NSA was a bunch of trolls, now we have evidence, lol.


Agents from the CIA, FBI and Pentagon and England's Government Communications Headquarters infiltrated WoW and virtual world "Second Life," as well as collecting information on the Xbox Live gaming network, according to the documents.

A 2008 NSA memo called online gaming a "target-rich communications network" where terrorists could communicate "in plain sight."

But apparently so many agents were engaged in playing video games for national security that a "deconfliction" group was created to make sure government agents weren't accidentally spying on each other. (Source)

What a life… leveling up your Blood Elf Mage, all the while "looking for Bin Laden" on the taxpayer's dime. I wonder if they were farming gold while they were at it.

Okay, I understand the whole "hiding in plain sight" thing, but come on. There are hundreds of WoW realms, two factions on every realm, and every guild can have their own private chat, so this seems like the most ridiculously inefficient way to gather intelligence I've ever heard of.

Original source article, published by the New York Times and Pro-Publica: World of Spycraft: NSA and CIA Spied in Online Games, derived from Edward Snowden leaks.




posted on Dec, 9 2013 @ 01:24 PM
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reply to post by adjensen
 


Wonder how many agents/bots they have planted in online poker and such, I suspect you are right about the farming gold. We have seen in the past, irrefutable proof that they are behind the drugs trade for instance. Total domination requires total control of both black markets and white markets so frankly it is unsurprising albeit an absolute abuse of power. I hope they all get whats coming to them very soon.



posted on Dec, 9 2013 @ 01:33 PM
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reply to post by adjensen
 
This wasn't a bad idea. Really it isn't. Think about how much money exchanges hands from one group to the other in a MMO. You have one group of gold farmers passing virtual items off to people for real money. Want to finance an attack on a real world target, sell fake items in a game for real world money. No paper trails, no real identities get used, and best of all the only person that gets caught is the buyer of the virtual item.

Complain all you want about it being a waste of time, but this was a real good idea.



posted on Dec, 9 2013 @ 01:41 PM
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Ya, because the terrorists on XBL wouldn't be in a private chat. Apparently they are supposed to discuss their terrorist plots in the open game lobbies. Seriously, this is the best the government, who spies on people for a living, could come up with? It just seems like a waste of resources, with very little return to be expected. Probably zero return. There are just better ways for terrorists to keep their electronic communications anonymous or private.



posted on Dec, 9 2013 @ 01:45 PM
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Okay, where do I sign up to infiltrate Call of Duty and Battlefield sleeper cells?




posted on Dec, 9 2013 @ 01:50 PM
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reply to post by Guyfriday
 



Complain all you want about it being a waste of time, but this was a real good idea.

Reread the source article -- if they had access to Auction House data and all server logged chats, maybe.

But they didn't, they were just playing WoW on the clock and "looking for suspects" among the 12 million other players by watching the in-game chat (which is limited to the general area that you're in) that scrolled across their screens.



posted on Dec, 9 2013 @ 01:59 PM
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reply to post by adjensen
 


Makes you wonder what classes does an nsa guy pick?

probably a healer.
edit on 9-12-2013 by grey580 because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 9 2013 @ 02:03 PM
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adjensen
reply to post by Guyfriday
 



Complain all you want about it being a waste of time, but this was a real good idea.

Reread the source article -- if they had access to Auction House data and all server logged chats, maybe.

But they didn't, they were just playing WoW on the clock and "looking for suspects" among the 12 million other players by watching the in-game chat (which is limited to the general area that you're in) that scrolled across their screens.
Auction Houses are one thing, but as anyone whose played any MMO knows, play the game as a "Regular" player and you'll get the tell about buying gold/credits/whatever just contact "somebody@ whatever.com".



posted on Dec, 9 2013 @ 02:03 PM
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grey580
reply to post by adjensen
 


Makes you wonder what classes does an nsa guy pick?

probably a healer.

I think "Rogue" or "Death Knight" would be obvious choices



posted on Dec, 9 2013 @ 02:22 PM
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reply to post by adjensen
 


Healer or tank.
Healer since you get into instance groups really fast.



posted on Dec, 9 2013 @ 02:25 PM
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grey580
reply to post by adjensen
 


Healer or tank.
Healer since you get into instance groups really fast.

Death Knight, then. I've seen DKs that claim they can heal as good as a Pally, lol.



posted on Dec, 9 2013 @ 02:27 PM
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We now that Leeroy was a NSA agent spoiling everyone's fun.



Still funny



posted on Dec, 9 2013 @ 02:27 PM
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reply to post by adjensen
 


Blimey, this was something we used to speculate on years ago playing online Half-Life...at the time when it was suggested that 'Big Brother' was probably watching and listening in to the games chat etc, it was usually met with scorn and derision...vindicated at last...unfortunately.



posted on Dec, 9 2013 @ 02:31 PM
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reply to post by adjensen
 


That is kind of funny. Someone on a game server said something the other day and I warned him that, with the amount of online surveillance/information gathering that has been revealed, it was distinctly possible that that information gathering would include chat logs making whatever one said in an online game something that would be preserved in a database somewhere. I warned him to not say things that could come back to haunt him. Kind of funny that I was apparently spot on and it actually started a conversation about surveillance on a game server, lol.

So, not surprised at all by this. Never assume that you are anonymous on the net, no matter what the venue may be.



posted on Dec, 9 2013 @ 02:34 PM
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Give me a break, no terrorist is going to "hide in the open" to meet up or discuss clandestine stuff on a main sever or in a high-profile game. That kind of thing is more likely to go down on fan-run shards of much less popular or relatively unknown games. Unless the NSA expects me to believe they're staking out the mains, AND all conceivable shards (lmao, right)



posted on Dec, 9 2013 @ 02:41 PM
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reply to post by adjensen
 

I wouldnt doubt this for a second.

How about all those government employees who sit around and watch porn all day looking for something "illegal".

Play games, watch porn, I do that for free. Where do I apply so I can get paid to do this crap?

A lawyer recently said that if you dont want something in a private conversation to be recorded and on file (by the government), dont say it. Maybe he was right.


CLEMENTE: "No, there is a way. We certainly have ways in national security investigations to find out exactly what was said in that conversation. It's not necessarily something that the FBI is going to want to present in court, but it may help lead the investigation and/or lead to questioning of her. We certainly can find that out.

BURNETT: "So they can actually get that? People are saying, look, that is incredible.

CLEMENTE: "No, welcome to America. All of that stuff is being captured as we speak whether we know it or like it or not."



edit on 9-12-2013 by gladtobehere because: wording



posted on Dec, 9 2013 @ 02:42 PM
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reply to post by Nyiah
 


If you've got cell phones, emails and web use covered, it makes sense that they would also focus an eye on online game chatter, too, to assure that all online venues are covered. Basically, an all encompassing net. If they didn't do the same with online games, then yes, it could be used to organize a whole variety of things. Why would they leave a hole in their net due to assumption that it wouldn't be done?

Not saying that I support it, btw. I don't. I'd say that an ever increasingly paranoid government is a sure sign of a government going afoul. After all, it's like what they always say--if you're not doing anything wrong, then what have you got to worry about? Well back at you, NSA et al.



posted on Dec, 9 2013 @ 02:45 PM
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reply to post by gladtobehere
 


If he was, he was a pretty unprofessional low level NSA minion for actually rubbing your nose in it like that!

He or she have probably been sent to guard a tracking station at the arctic or something for that slip up.



posted on Dec, 9 2013 @ 03:07 PM
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reply to post by adjensen
 


Nah Deathknights just kill so fast that there's really no need to heal them.
It's a crazy class damage output wise.



posted on Dec, 9 2013 @ 03:22 PM
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I guess you all know where the "loser in moms basement" comments originated.



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