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NSA and CIA counterterrorism efforts included Xbox Live, Second Life, WoW spying
Fears that the virtual hang-outs for online gamers could become a hotbed for terrorist activity and planning led both British and American intelligence groups to actively spy on services like Xbox Live, World of Warcraft and Second Life, according to newly disclosed classified documents.
The document notes that there were so many US intelligence agents operating inside online games that a “deconfliction” group was required, which ensured that the agents weren’t spying on or interfering with each other.
Online games could be used to build a profile of a target’s social networks through analysis of “buddylists and interaction,” as a window for hacking attacks, as a way to obtain identifiers like profile photos, geolocation and collection of a target’s communications, according to the NSA document.
“Given that gaming consoles often include voice headsets, video cameras, and other identifiers, the potential for joining together biometric information with activities was also an exciting one,” the Guardian reports.