NSA All Up In Your Gaming Business

This really shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone by now, but the NSA has been slurping data from online gaming including World of Warcraft, Second Life, Xbox Live, etc., sometimes with live agents and sometimes with technical means.

The agencies, the documents show, have built mass-collection capabilities against the Xbox Live console network, which boasts more than 48 million players. Real-life agents have been deployed into virtual realms, from those Orc hordes in World of Warcraft to the human avatars of Second Life. There were attempts, too, to recruit potential informants from the games’ tech-friendly users.

Like I said, hardly a surprise. Some of my peers have suspected so for years, to be honest. So much so that when we’re in chat and say something that could be considered terrorist-y, we give a shoutout to the NSA as well.

Still, the announcement will give cause for a lot more gamers to pay attention. And the XBox Live bit is notable given the number of people claiming the Kinect wouldn’t be used to spy on you. It certainly can be used for such, and now it sounds like it would be in at least some circumstances. 

The more you know.