The NSA’s best excuse ever to play War Craft

Be afraid. Be very afraid.

What do you think about Edward Snowden’s release of classified documents?

Go ahead. Sound off. The National Security Agency couldn’t possibly be listening.

Whatever your feelings, you have to admit, Snowden got people talking. Other whistle blowers using legal channels were forced to give up their careers, and aren’t exactly household names.  William Binney, a 30 year NSA veteran who tried to raise red flags, was greeted one morning by FBI agents pointing guns at his head as he stepped out of the shower. Who has heard of William Binney?

Snowden at least got noticed.

My favorite revelation: the NSA’s decision to target online games.

Is that a camera in your cleavage?

A 2008 NSA memo warned that virtual games might seem innocuous, but actually, they are a “target-rich communication network” allowing intelligence suspects “a way to hide in plain sight.” Because terrorists, like gamers, assume fake identities and make financial transactions, online games “are an opportunity!” Agents adopted avatars (make believe characters), collected data and communications, and attempted to recruit informers.

Check out Pro Publica’s slide show on NSA, CIA and British spying in online games

So many agents were playing online games, one memo declared that “deconfliction” was needed so that spies wouldn’t spy on each other.

Happy ever after on Second Life

Was the mission successful? Were terrorists found using Second Life or World of War Craft to launder money and plot bomb attacks? No.

There will be a flurry of media stories about Snowdon this month when Glenn Greenwald, a constitutional lawyer and, until October 13, 2013, journalist for the Guardian, releases his book, No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA, and the U.S. Security State.

Expect more fun and games.

“I want to spark a worldwide debate about privacy, Internet freedom, and the dangers of state surveillance. I’m not afraid of what will happen to me. I’ve accepted that my life will likely be over from my doing this. I’m at peace with that. I know it’s the right thing to do. I want to identify myself as the person behind these disclosures. I believe I have an obligation to explain why I’m doing this and what I hope to achieve.

“I only have one fear in doing all of this, that people will see these documents and shrug, that they’ll say, ‘We assumed this was happening and don’t care.’ The only thing I’m worried about is that I’ll do all this to my life for nothing.” Edward Snowden 


What’s your favorite leaked secret from the NSA documents? Do you play online games? If so, have you noticed any suspicious characters hanging around?

Read more:

World of Spycraft: NSA and CIA Spied in Online Games

Spies Infiltrate a Fantasy Realm of Online Games

Xbox Live among game services targeted by US and UK spy agencies
NSA and GCHQ collect gamers’ chats and deploy real-life agents into World of Warcraft and Second Life






  • Ah, well, my first and last introduction to Second Life was ‘someone’ sidling up to me with less charm than a garden grub, and asking “Do you wanna f***?”. Yeah, no thanks. I feel for Snowden… that last quote of his being a credible fear.


    • Ew. I guess I don’t need a second life.

      I think Snowdon’s fear is credible, too. It’s easy to bob along, as along as things look pretty good on the surface.


  • “The only thing I’m worried about is that I’ll do all this to my life for nothing.”

    Unfortunately, that statement is probably true. It’s sad, but people have been lulled to sleep. Many feel there is nothing they can do so they go about their business as usual. As our society becomes more socialistic, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the entire country, if not the world run like a military state. It’s going to be interesting.


  • People have to feel affected before they are moved to action. Angela Merkel sure sounded off though!

    Plutocracy is the game of the day, which can lead to more government, or less. Depends which Blutocrats are at the top of the heap. Where’s Popeye when we need him?


  • Popeye is dead. He couldn’t get his daily supply of spinach due to climate change and big ag chemicals. Now that we’ve established that, please read every new HIPPA document you are asked to sign and I do mean everything. It may look like the old one, but it’s not. Actually, consider everything you provide your medical providers and whether or not you wish to sign into their portal. They make it sound like a garden party, but it’s not. What does this have to do with NSA, it’s all about the information grab. Be careful.


  • OH man. Just signed the HIPPA form without looking at it. Luckily my doctor is at her wit’s end because her office staff can’t get the online records system working. Maybe they never will, and my blood test results will flounder around in some dusty file cabinet.


  • I hadn’t thought about how online games could be watched. I guess anything across the internet is fair game. You explain the issues clearly and the Snowden quote puts things in perspective.

    Liked by 1 person

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