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NSA's Game Spying

The NYTimes.com, theguardian.com, and ProPublica report that the U.S. National Security Agency's spying on citizens extends to participation in online games. This is according to documents disclosed by whistleblower Edward Snowden, which say U.S. and British spies have infiltrated various games in toon form to keep tabs on the goings-on since at least 2007. They have a specific statement on World of Warcraft: "We are unaware of any surveillance taking place," said a spokesman for Blizzard Entertainment. "If it was, it would have been done without our knowledge or permission." Word is this surveillance extended to Xbox LIVE, but their big focus seems to be Second Life, and they were apparently so many CIA, FBI and Pentagon spies caught up in Linden Labs' metaverse a "deconfliction" group was required to keep them out of each other's virtual hair (we always wondered how that "game" reported such high user counts). Apparently they fell for some signature Second Life hype: "Second Life has proven that virtual worlds of social networking are a reality: come hear Cory tell you why!" Linden Labs solicited the NSA in an invitation to discuss the game's espionage potential with Linden CTO (and former Navy officer with NSA contacts) Cory Ondrejka, promising virtual worlds gave the government the opportunity "to understand the motivation, context and consequent behaviors of non-Americans through observation, without leaving U.S. soil." Current Linden Labs execs declined the opportunity to comment on this, and these days Ondrejka is helping safeguard our privacy at Facebook. They offer details on another such operation which may have resulted in a lucrative deal for another contractor to monitor activity within games. And while the Brits did bust up a credit card crime ring in Second Life, for the most part, this initiative has been about as productive towards national security as one might imagine a bunch of spooks playing MMOGs would be:

The documents do not cite any counterterrorism successes from the effort, and former American intelligence officials, current and former gaming company employees and outside experts said in interviews that they knew of little evidence that terrorist groups viewed the games as havens to communicate and plot operations.

Games “are built and operated by companies looking to make money, so the players’ identity and activity is tracked,” said Peter W. Singer of the Brookings Institution, an author of “Cybersecurity and Cyberwar: What Everyone Needs to Know.” “For terror groups looking to keep their communications secret, there are far more effective and easier ways to do so than putting on a troll avatar.”

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230 Replies. 12 pages. Viewing page 1.
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230. Re: NSA's Game Spying Dec 11, 2013, 14:16 Mashiki Amiketo
 
BitWraith wrote on Dec 10, 2013, 15:14:

Yeah cause Repubs have been totally banging the more regulations drum for years now.
There's a difference between regulations to protect *insert reason* such as sub-prime lending. There's a fully different reason to "create regulations to create regulations" which the democrats have been doing.

Mad Max RW wrote on Dec 10, 2013, 17:00:

Every single one of Obama's executive orders were distractions that accomplished nothing while he went around and used bureaucracies such as the EPA to pass new regulations to get what he wanted anyway.
And which have been overturned by SCOTUS anyway.
 
--
"For every human problem,
there is a neat, simple solution;
and it is always wrong."
--H.L. Mencken
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229. Re: NSA's Game Spying Dec 11, 2013, 12:45 Creston
 
Beamer wrote on Dec 10, 2013, 15:25:
Abort! Abort!

I mostly said it in jest, but there's always some nutbag who immediately starts frothing at the mouth when you say something about Obama.

My apologies for derailing what was otherwise an excellent nine-topic thread.
 
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228. Re: NSA's Game Spying Dec 10, 2013, 22:05 Fantaz
 
World of Warcraft - The Daily Show with Jon Stewart - December 9, 2013

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8R0rGEWzW7U

edit: fuck, I can't believe Canada is involved in this too...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3770ZGO2jZA

This comment was edited on Dec 11, 2013, 03:27.
 
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227. Re: NSA's Game Spying Dec 10, 2013, 19:17 Agent.X7
 
Fletch wrote on Dec 10, 2013, 18:22:
Fibrocyte wrote on Dec 9, 2013, 10:28:
The mentality of 'they don't have a right to do this until I've done something wrong' simply doesn't make sane, rational sense.

One of the most ignorant things I've ever read, and I've written some doozies myself.
What about the police? You ok with them pulling you over just for the hell of it? How about knocking on your door and forcing themselves in without a warrant just to make sure you haven't "done something wrong"? How about at 2:00AM? It's for the safety of the country/neighborhood, they tell you. Maybe they need to go through your browsing history "to protect America". "Sure officer, go ahead. I'm all for protecting America. Oh, you need my phone as well? Uhhh, ok."

As my personal lord and savior, Maynard James Keenan, said:
"Where's the line?"
Do you have one?

Not to mention 4th amendment protection. Fuck, if I don't have to wait for you to do something wrong you won't mind if I shoot you now and save myself the trouble later, right? I'll be right back, I sense a massive population drop coming in my immediate area. Pre-crime division, here I come!
 
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STEAM - Agent.X7
PSN - JStar_X7
Xbox Live - Agent X7
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226. Re: NSA's Game Spying Dec 10, 2013, 18:22 Fletch
 
Fibrocyte wrote on Dec 9, 2013, 10:28:
The mentality of 'they don't have a right to do this until I've done something wrong' simply doesn't make sane, rational sense.

One of the most ignorant things I've ever read, and I've written some doozies myself.
What about the police? You ok with them pulling you over just for the hell of it? How about knocking on your door and forcing themselves in without a warrant just to make sure you haven't "done something wrong"? How about at 2:00AM? It's for the safety of the country/neighborhood, they tell you. Maybe they need to go through your browsing history "to protect America". "Sure officer, go ahead. I'm all for protecting America. Oh, you need my phone as well? Uhhh, ok."

As my personal lord and savior, Maynard James Keenan, said:
"Where's the line?"
Do you have one?
 
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225. Re: NSA's Game Spying Dec 10, 2013, 17:35 MajorD
 

Agent.X7 wrote on Dec 10, 2013, 14:01:
True, anyone could, but there is a HUGE difference between extemporaneous acts and premeditated ones.

It's not like the Boston bombers didn't plan it out ahead of time. McVeigh? Kaczynski? Bin Laden?

They just use tragedy as an excuse to push their agendas, much like politicians.


That is where we agree.

I could be wrong, but I get the impression you and Verno think I am all for carte blanche wiretapping and spying, which I'm not, as that is why I pointed out there is a fine line of too much and/or too little. Where are the checks and balances is the problem.

 
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224. Re: NSA's Game Spying Dec 10, 2013, 17:00 Mad Max RW
 
Mashiki Amiketo wrote on Dec 10, 2013, 14:50:

And besides, why do it so brutally when he can use XO's, many of which have been challenged and defeated by SCOTUS.

Every single one of Obama's executive orders were distractions that accomplished nothing while he went around and used bureaucracies such as the EPA to pass new regulations to get what he wanted anyway.
 
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223. Re: NSA's Game Spying Dec 10, 2013, 15:54 nin
 
Agent.X7 wrote on Dec 10, 2013, 15:50:
Beamer wrote on Dec 10, 2013, 15:25:
Abort! Abort!

Incoming bi-partisan bickering! Run for your lives!

Code Thundr?

 
http://www.nin.com/pub/tension/
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222. Re: NSA's Game Spying Dec 10, 2013, 15:50 Agent.X7
 
Beamer wrote on Dec 10, 2013, 15:25:
Abort! Abort!

Incoming bi-partisan bickering! Run for your lives!
 
Avatar 23400
 
Origin - JStarX7
STEAM - Agent.X7
PSN - JStar_X7
Xbox Live - Agent X7
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221. Re: NSA's Game Spying Dec 10, 2013, 15:25 Beamer
 
Abort! Abort!  
-------------
Music for the discerning:
http://www.deathwishinc.com
http://www.hydrahead.com
http://www.painkillerrecords.com
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220. Re: NSA's Game Spying Dec 10, 2013, 15:14 BitWraith
 
Mashiki Amiketo wrote on Dec 10, 2013, 14:50:
And if you think it was Repubs, you'd best go pay attention to which side blocked those same Repubs from their attempt to stop the housing and loan crisis from before it started. And perhaps, you should pay attention to the fact that Obama's administration is doing exactly the same thing as before with subprimes, and in some cases even more risky lending.

Yeah cause Repubs have been totally banging the more regulations drum for years now.
 
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219. Re: NSA's Game Spying Dec 10, 2013, 14:50 Mashiki Amiketo
 
BitWraith wrote on Dec 10, 2013, 14:32:

While I don't think Obama is the greatest president ever, I've been reading this crap since he got elected initially. If he's a fascist dictator who's trying to destroy the constitution, then he's the least efficient dictator in history. Why didn't he pull the trigger on the "null and void" of the constitution when both houses of congress were democrat controlled? He's had 5 years now to get something done on destroying America, what's he waiting on? The perfect time?

Repubs managed to kill our economy in 8 years, so far the Dem economy is trending in the wrong direction, despite Repubs best efforts.
Probably because they'd actually get an armed revolution on their hands and the military won't follow suit. Hasn't stopped the democrats from culling anyone who doesn't agree with their agenda out of the military ranks. Useful tip: Turkey is doing the same thing. And besides, why do it so brutally when he can use XO's, many of which have been challenged and defeated by SCOTUS.

And if you think it was Repubs, you'd best go pay attention to which side blocked those same Repubs from their attempt to stop the housing and loan crisis from before it started. And perhaps, you should pay attention to the fact that Obama's administration is doing exactly the same thing as before with subprimes, and in some cases even more risky lending.
 
--
"For every human problem,
there is a neat, simple solution;
and it is always wrong."
--H.L. Mencken
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218. Re: NSA's Game Spying Dec 10, 2013, 14:32 BitWraith
 
Creston wrote on Dec 10, 2013, 14:09:
Slashman wrote on Dec 10, 2013, 11:29:
You know what I find most scary?

You Americans at least have a constitution to fall back on.

You have no idea how much that irritates Obama. Fortunately his time will be up before he can just declare it null and void.


While I don't think Obama is the greatest president ever, I've been reading this crap since he got elected initially. If he's a fascist dictator who's trying to destroy the constitution, then he's the least efficient dictator in history. Why didn't he pull the trigger on the "null and void" of the constitution when both houses of congress were democrat controlled? He's had 5 years now to get something done on destroying America, what's he waiting on? The perfect time?

Repubs managed to kill our economy in 8 years, so far the Dem economy is trending in the wrong direction, despite Repubs best efforts.
 
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217. Re: NSA's Game Spying Dec 10, 2013, 14:09 Creston
 
Slashman wrote on Dec 10, 2013, 11:29:
You know what I find most scary?

You Americans at least have a constitution to fall back on.

You have no idea how much that irritates Obama. Fortunately his time will be up before he can just declare it null and void.

 
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216. Re: NSA's Game Spying Dec 10, 2013, 14:01 Agent.X7
 
True, anyone could, but there is a HUGE difference between extemporaneous acts and premeditated ones.

They don't stop either one. It's not like the Boston bombers didn't plan it out ahead of time. McVeigh? Kaczynski? Bin Laden?

They just use tragedy as an excuse to push their agendas, much like politicians.

 
Avatar 23400
 
Origin - JStarX7
STEAM - Agent.X7
PSN - JStar_X7
Xbox Live - Agent X7
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215. Re: NSA's Game Spying Dec 10, 2013, 13:58 nin
 
NegaDeath wrote on Dec 10, 2013, 13:55:
MajorD wrote on Dec 10, 2013, 11:28:
No, they can't prevent EVERY single threat/attempt, but do you realize how many threats they have thwarted that we don't even know about, which enables us to sleep at night?

How can a person realize something they are forbidden from knowing?

“... there are known knowns; there are things we know that we know.
There are known unknowns; that is to say, there are things that we now know we don't know.
But there are also unknown unknowns – there are things we do not know we don't know. ”

— United States Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld
 
http://www.nin.com/pub/tension/
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214. Re: NSA's Game Spying Dec 10, 2013, 13:56 Agent.X7
 
Verno wrote on Dec 10, 2013, 13:10:
No, they can't prevent EVERY single threat/attempt, but do you realize how many threats they have thwarted that we don't even know about, which enables us to sleep at night?

Well don't keep us in suspense, exactly how many threats have they prevented by spying on WoW raiders and Second Life introverts?

The argument that people should be ok with ~whatever~ as long as it might prevent a terrorist attack is really silly. Authorities could use the whole "FOR UR PROTECTION" as justification for anything, that's why there should always be pushback when these bodies exceed their mandate or this sort of stuff is done in secret without the general publics knowledge.

That's exactly it. DO I know how many attacks they have prevented? No. And neither do they. Neither does the Intelligence Oversight Committee. That's the real issue. This is not only done without permission, but even the Congressional committee in charge of all the spies in the US is in the dark. No warrants, no permission, no oversight. The spies are doing whatever they damn well please. Time to reign this shit in and stop it.
 
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213. Re: NSA's Game Spying Dec 10, 2013, 13:55 NegaDeath
 
MajorD wrote on Dec 10, 2013, 11:28:
No, they can't prevent EVERY single threat/attempt, but do you realize how many threats they have thwarted that we don't even know about, which enables us to sleep at night?

How can a person realize something they are forbidden from knowing?
 
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212. Re: NSA's Game Spying Dec 10, 2013, 13:10 Verno
 
No, they can't prevent EVERY single threat/attempt, but do you realize how many threats they have thwarted that we don't even know about, which enables us to sleep at night?

Well don't keep us in suspense, exactly how many threats have they prevented by spying on WoW raiders and Second Life introverts?

The argument that people should be ok with ~whatever~ as long as it might prevent a terrorist attack is really silly. Authorities could use the whole "FOR UR PROTECTION" as justification for anything, that's why there should always be pushback when these bodies exceed their mandate or this sort of stuff is done in secret without the general publics knowledge.
 
Avatar 51617
 
Playing: Divinity Original Sin, Destiny, Fire Emblem
Watching: Continuum, Star Trek TNG, Haunt
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211. Re: NSA's Game Spying Dec 10, 2013, 12:12 Beamer
 
Slashman wrote on Dec 10, 2013, 11:29:
You know what I find most scary?

You Americans at least have a constitution to fall back on.

I'm not an American citizen. It's open season for spying on anywhere/anyone that isn't America. Sweatdrop

What's the worst that could happen, we read something you said and kill you in a remote drone attack?


Actually, that's probably exactly it.
 
-------------
Music for the discerning:
http://www.deathwishinc.com
http://www.hydrahead.com
http://www.painkillerrecords.com
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