The NSA controversy just keeps getting deeper. The internet’s BFF, Edward Snowden, has released new documents that reveal that the U.S. and U.K. have the ability to eavesdrop on conversations in Xbox Live, and have even placed agents in games including World of Warcraft and Second Life.
According to information from The Guardian, it appears that government agents of both government’s have been paying close attention to online gaming communities since at least 2008.
A September 2008 memo from the NSA’s UK sister agency GCHQ reveals that the organisation had “successfully been able to get the discussions between different game players on Xbox Live,” while agents were put in both “World of Warcraft” and “Second Life” in a bid to monitor gamers “buddylists and interaction.”
There also seems to be no evidence that these invasions of privacy have been successful in stopping any terrorist plots, an analyst apparently referred to them in a report as offering a “target-rich communications network” where potential threats could “hide in plain sight.”
Microsoft hasn’t commented on the controversy while “World of Warcraft” developer Blizzard told the paper it was “unaware of any surveillance taking place. If it was, it would have been done without our knowledge or permission.”
GCHQ hasn’t confirmed or denied the reporting and have only commented that actions were carried out “in accordance with a strict legal and policy framework which ensures that its activities are authorised, necessary and proportionate, and there is rigorous oversight, including from the secretary of state, the interception and intelligence services commissioners and the Intelligence and Security Committee.”