NSA And CIA Infiltrated World Of Warcraft And Second Life To Spy On Gamers

gamesIs that elf watching you? ProPublica reports on fascinating classified documents unearthed from Edward Snowden’s trove revealing that NSA and CIA spies have placed numerous avatars in popular virtual realms:

Not limiting their activities to the earthly realm, American and British spies have infiltrated the fantasy worlds of World of Warcraft and Second Life, conducting surveillance and scooping up data in the online games played by millions of people across the globe, according to newly disclosed classified documents.

Fearing that terrorist or criminal networks could use the games to communicate secretly, move money or plot attacks, the documents show, intelligence operatives have entered terrain populated by digital avatars that include elves, gnomes and supermodels.

The spies have created make-believe characters to snoop and to try to recruit informers, while also collecting data and contents of communications between players.

But for all their enthusiasm — so many CIA, FBI and Pentagon spies were hunting around in Second Life, the document noted, that a “deconfliction” group was needed to avoid collisions — the intelligence agencies may have inflated the threat.

The documents do not cite any counterterrorism successes from the effort, and former American intelligence officials said that they knew of little evidence that terrorist groups viewed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


18 Comments on "NSA And CIA Infiltrated World Of Warcraft And Second Life To Spy On Gamers"

  1. emperorreagan | Dec 9, 2013 at 3:15 pm |

    So if you’ve ever thought you were having cyber sex with a female character in one of those games, you were undoubtedly jerking off to a conversation with some pasty dude who works in a secure basement in McLean, VA.

    • InfvoCuernos | Dec 9, 2013 at 3:50 pm |

      As apposed to just jerking off to a conversation with a pasty dude in an unsecure basement, which would still be creepy as fuck.

      • emperorreagan | Dec 9, 2013 at 4:01 pm |

        Well, the guy in the secure basement in McLean is being monitored on a camera, so while he’s jerking off pretending to be a pretty princess elf there’s some other pasty guy in a secure basement somewhere in the J. Edgar Hoover building probably jerking off to that, and he’s being watched on video by some other pasty dude working in a secure basement at Forte Meade is jerking off to that…and down the road in Arlington, VA another pasty guy is in a secure basement playing the orc who is trying to hook-up with the pretty princess elf, and he’s being watched on camera by a different guy down in a different secure basement….

        I have solved the problem of where the enormous black budget goes: it’s a recursive loop of pasty dudes having virtual sex online in MMOs and other dudes getting off on watching it. Someone nominate me for a nobel prize!

      • The NSA employee is being paid, and that makes it HAWT.

        • InfvoCuernos | Dec 9, 2013 at 4:37 pm |

          There is sooo much wrong with this.

        • Neon Suntan | Dec 9, 2013 at 4:56 pm |

          Do the female NSA agents pretend to be male elves? or even Male orks? What if the Russian NSA folks are doing the same.This is some kind state sponsored live slash/fiction.

          (Which of course makes it hot.)

          • InfvoCuernos | Dec 9, 2013 at 5:26 pm |

            I bet there’s somebody in a basement right now reading all this and doing the five knuckle shuffle on the ole piss pump.

          • DeepCough | Dec 9, 2013 at 6:35 pm |

            I find this scenario infinitely more plausible with InfoWars.

          • InfvoCuernos | Dec 9, 2013 at 7:24 pm |

            and infinitely more disturbing.

          • DeepCough | Dec 9, 2013 at 6:34 pm |

            Just as all the kids on the internet are undercover FBI agents,
            all the women are male NSA agents.

  2. stomachworm | Dec 9, 2013 at 4:29 pm |

    So my tax money is paying salaries of government employees to play video games all day? FUCK YOU OBAMA! HANG HIM FOR TREASON!!!

  3. DeepCough | Dec 9, 2013 at 6:31 pm |

    Notice how they don’t bother spying on anybody playing the Call of Duty
    or Battlefield games.

  4. VaudeVillain | Dec 10, 2013 at 4:47 am |

    And the worst part is that they’re just BAD at it. I had one raid wipe like 15 times because this NSA newbie was apparently incapable of watching a YouTube video and wouldn’t get out of his PVP gear.

    I thought these assholes were trained to blend in…

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