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Does Anonymity In Virtual Worlds Breed Terrorism? 295

Posted by samzenpus
from the threat-of-the-week dept.
An Anonymous Coward writes "The Washington Post has an article about the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity's take on the numerous virtual worlds (e.g. Second Life) that have cropped up in recent years. IARPA's thesis is that because the Government can't currently monitor all the communication and interaction, terrorists will plot and scheme in such environments."
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Does Anonymity In Virtual Worlds Breed Terrorism?

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 07, 2008 @02:10AM (#22330448)
    no more than anonymity in the real world breeds bank robbery.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 07, 2008 @02:25AM (#22330550)
      I'm sure once They realize how comic their attempts to justify their jobs are, they will return all the tax money and do something productive.
      • by _merlin (160982) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @02:30AM (#22330570) Homepage Journal

        I'm sure once They realize how comic their attempts to justify their jobs are, they will return all the tax money and do something productive.

        I hope you're being sarcastic. It's not like government bodies to ever admit mistakes. Unless it's mistakes of their predecessors, of course.

        • I hope you're being sarcastic. It's not like government bodies to ever admit mistakes. Unless it's mistakes of their predecessors, of course.
          We did NOT lose Vietnam!
          ...it was a tie.
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by Sique (173459)
            Which means, that Vietnam as defending champion (they got the title against the French in 1956) still carries the title.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by slawo (1210850)

        I'm sure once They realize how comic their attempts to justify their jobs are, they will return all the tax money and do something productive.
        And they will apologize to 2nd life users whose avatars have been kidnaped and shipped to the new secret CIA servers... Just like they did in the real life... Right?
    • In fact less (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Chrisq (894406) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @03:56AM (#22330946)
      If the government suspected someone of plotting in a virtual world they could probably subpoena logs from the ISP, find who else was habitually on line at similar times and monitor future access.

      Virtual worlds come about last in the list of options. If you were a terrorist and you wanted to communicates would you:
      1. Talk in a virtual world, where you could be monitored if suspected
      2. Talk in the real world in some random location
      3. Use a off prepaid mobiles, brought for cash
      4. Use heavily encrypted emails, where they would know who you were talking too but not what you said
      5. Post stenographic encrypted images on Flicr (images which hold a hidden coded message, not visible to normal users), where they could not tell what you said or who you sait it to. Possibility of finding out people who regularly checked images, though if it was good porn....
      6. Get a spam company to send a message to millions of people with stenographic encrypted messages or pre-arranged phrases. (other terrorists don't need to regualrly check images)
      I am sure that most of you can think up some more "better than second life" means of covert communication.
      • Re:In fact less (Score:5, Informative)

        by Nefarious Wheel (628136) * on Thursday February 07, 2008 @04:28AM (#22331080) Journal
        Post stenographic encrypted images on...

        Yes, many stenographers tend to encrypt messages. Fortunately with the advent of email they're not quite as prominent in business circles.

        I presume you really meant "steganographic".

      • This is just frustration from the cops. Back when most conversations were face to face they could write it off and say we don't know what was said. Now that people converse on line though a gadzillion channels the police have to do more actual work and this cheezes the off.
      • by CmdrGravy (645153) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @06:28AM (#22331600) Homepage
        Yes, my operatives and I communicate in the following fashion. We type our pre-arranged phrase into google at the agreed time and select a link at a particular ranking determined by a complicated formula involving the day of the week, the number of days from Easter and various other classified terrorist statistics. The nearest link in the page which links to some sort of open forum is then used to post the coded message which my operative will then read. This explains a lot of, what people think are, the trolls here on /..
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by houghi (78078)
        Usenet. That would be my prefered way of comunication. That together with other means of encription. The advantage over Flicr is that there is no proof of contact between the sender and the reciever.

        e.g. I post daily to alt.binaries.pictures.wallpaper and put sometimes a message encrypted in the series I post. It has been a while, but still. I post them at my provider.

        The target (whom I might not even know) can pic it up at his provider, decrypt it and read the message. Now as I am posting on-topic and ofte
      • Given that our government keeps firing translators, terrorists would just have to speak in a foreign language. No other measure would be necessary.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by PopeRatzo (965947) *
        You know what really promotes terrorism?

        File Sharing! No, really. They could put a stenographic message in a torrent of Beowulf and post it on TPB.

        Wait, while we're at it, I think that ripping music CDs to mp3 files promotes terrorism too, oh, and skipping the commercials with my DVR. Skipping commercials REALLY promotes terrorism.

        They must really think we're stupid.
    • by ukemike (956477) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @12:28PM (#22334876) Homepage
      What breeds terrorism?

      Lets see...

      Turning a country into a war zone;
      Turning whole populations into refugees;
      Military occupations with checkpoints, no knock searches, arbitrary detentions, torture, etc.;
      Desperation;
      Hopelessness; and
      Training religious fanatics in terrorist techniques, arming them, and funding them, until they defeat your enemy for you and then abandoning them.

      Yep all of those things are really good at breeding terrorism, but I don't see anonymity in virtual worlds anywhere on the list. Nope. Sorry.
  • Monitor this! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by _merlin (160982) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @02:10AM (#22330450) Homepage Journal
    The government can't monitor what I'm saying to my co-workers at this moment, either. Maybe terrorists will plot things in our work environment, too. They can't monitor what I say to my friends on the street. Better make going outside illegal. Who pays these people to say stupid stuff? Oh, I forgot - that's where taxes go. Maybe Ron Paul really is onto something with his talk about cutting unnecessary parts of the government (I'm Australian, so I can't vote for him).
    • Re:Monitor this! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by mrxak (727974) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @02:13AM (#22330470)
      Well realistically, I'm sure terrorists do meet in person to plot. This article needs a big stamp labeled [Obvious].
      • by Ultra64 (318705) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @02:37AM (#22330600)

        I'm sure terrorists do meet in person to plot

        How could you know that? Unless...

        I FOUND ONE! Call DHS!
      • Re:Monitor this! (Score:5, Insightful)

        by fyngyrz (762201) * on Thursday February 07, 2008 @02:37AM (#22330602) Homepage Journal

        This article needs a big stamp labeled [Obvious].

        No, it needs a big stamp labeled [Government Out Of Control]

        The "problem" is not that people can have unmonitored discussions in virtual worlds, the "problem" is unmonitored discussions. You know, like you might want to have in your living room with your sister's new husband, Khalid Al Automatic Terrorist Suspect. Or your friend, Sir Knight of the Holy Order of Pot Smokers. Or your wife, She who Blew You When You Were Underage. There is literally no difference between the idea that "they" have to monitor discussions in one place, as compared to "they" need to monitor discussions in another. The idea they are actually pushing is that unmonitored discussions are a threat. The issue at hand is specifically, do "they" need to monitor discussions at all, and the answer, both legally and in the sense of rational degrees of privacy, is a resounding no.

        I refer you to the 4th amendment of the constitution:

        The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated"

        Some would say that there is no right to privacy in the constitution, but I say there it is, staring you in the face, as the underlying presumption that created the first phrase in the fourth amendment. Just ask, why would people have this right? It all descends from privacy, that social boundary that we all know better than to cross.

        That bit about "papers" is the key; at the time, "papers" were what was used to communicate long distance, and there they are, right in the boilerplate that LIMITS the federal government's rights by trumping with the people's rights. This idea was rationally extended in the right to privacy for your mail, and again, in right to privacy with regard to telecommunications and cell calls and so forth. The idea that these people are pushing that packets are not the same as an envelope carrying your remarks in the degree of privacy deserved, and the reason for that privacy, is simply ridiculous.

        If you put up with this, mark my words, you'll be asked to put up with monitoring gear in your home before too much longer.

        • If you put up with this, mark my words, you'll be asked to put up with monitoring gear in your home before too much longer.
          You, sir, have missed the point (albeit slightly).

          {and I quote, paraphrased} If you put up with this, mark my words, you'll be asked to put up with monitoring gear in your head , to track your every thought, before too much longer.

          And before you all start laughing, let me just say they would if they could.
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Bert64 (520050)
          Well, a virtual world is actually much easier to monitor than a real one...
          If someone is communicating through a public system like second life, which has servers in a central location, you can get a court order and monitor those servers without the suspect having any idea it's happening.
          In real life, you need to physically plant bugging devices, which carries significant risks, not only of the devices being found but also of you're operatives being caught planting them. It's also considerably more expensiv
        • Re:Monitor this! (Score:5, Insightful)

          by evanbd (210358) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @07:41AM (#22331918)

          Some would say that there is no right to privacy in the constitution, but I say there it is, staring you in the face, as the underlying presumption that created the first phrase in the fourth amendment.

          It doesn't need to be in the Constitution. It is a basic right. The Constitution was written on the principle that it does not grant rights. It prevents the government from taking away rights you *already possess*. It is abundantly clear, both from the text itself and the discussions that led to it, that the Constitution enumerates a subset of our rights. The fact that it is not mentioned in the Constitution does not mean you don't have it -- quite the opposite. If it isn't mentioned, that means the government has no right to touch it.

          But then, no one actually reads it any more.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by ATMAvatar (648864)

          "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated"

          The problems are that:

          • Those in power have successfully convinced a large portion of the public that we only have those rights specifically enumerated in the Bill of Rights. And, many have been sold on the idea that even those rights have limits.
          • The 4th Amendment is, unfortunately, a little ambiguous.

          The big, gaping hole in the amendment is the incl

    • Re:Monitor this! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by arivanov (12034) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @02:49AM (#22330684) Homepage
      Are you sure that they cannot? I recall a brilliant joke on the subject from the days of KDS, KGB and Stazi: What is one bulgarian? A bandit. Two bulgarians? A gang Three bulgarians? A gang with an informer. As far as using virtual worlds and so on for terrorism plotting a plot nurtured in Sadville will remain a wankoff. I would be much more worried about a plot nurtured in a cafana with the morning coffee and a Hooka pipe.
      • It's actually sad when jokes from a communist regime start working in our "democratic" countries. It shows one thing, if anything: Politicians and their backers are scared of us. Yes, us, their "people". The communism had two major enemies (another political jokes from that time): The capitalism, and the people living in communist countries. And we're about to get there, capitalism is also about to get two enemies: Terrorists and the people. The stunning part is that the whole security and surveillance syst
        • by cp.tar (871488)

          The so-called communist regimes have fallen. Not that we're having it any better now, but still... changes happen.
          The question is, when will Americans decide to change something... and in their own country, for a change.

          The more I observe the world, the more I loathe democracy.
          It may work nicely on a local level, but when you get any higher than that, too many layers of abstraction shield the officials from their voters. And so the parties turn into clans, clans into dynasties — the main thing agai

      • The Czech version of this joke goes:

        Why do Bulgarian policemen go around in threes? One who can read, one who can write, and one to keep a watch on the dangerous intellectuals.

        Actually, that's probably bang on topic in terms of what it gives away about police attitudes. One British police chief constable was recently said to have expressed concerns about reducing the checks on police stop and search powers because he knew that there were police in his force who would abuse them.

        • The (at least 30 year old - I remember it from school) British version goes:

          Why do traffic cops always go in pairs?

          One to read the numbers, one to read the letters.

          Obviously, dangerous intellectuals would never join the police in the first place :P

    • Another reason why constant monitoring doesn't work: Penn and Teller: Bullshit - Big Brother [youtube.com] (about 5:30 into the video, but there's a lot more good stuff if you watch the full episode).
    • The government obviously needs to place surveillance cameras and microphones in every single room of very single building, and on every street.

      It would not only allow us to monitor terrorism, but also paedophiles, domestic violence, and virtually every crime.

      After all, if you are not a terrorist (or paedophile) you have nothing to hide! Somebody think of the children!
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by mpe (36238)
        The government obviously needs to place surveillance cameras and microphones in every single room of very single building, and on every street.

        Except for government buildings and police stations of course...
      • Naw.... there are far too many rooms and streets for that. All they need is an implant in every person that broadcasts location visual and audio to the NSA in real time. Much cheaper.
  • by mrxak (727974) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @02:10AM (#22330452)
    I always knew those gnomes in the tram were up to something!
  • whats wrong (Score:5, Funny)

    by Kinobi (159344) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @02:11AM (#22330464)
    I don't see a problem with creating a virtual tower and airplane... Maybe we should have a virtual reality world where you can blow yourself up and be reborn in heaven. If it is addictive enough it may curb real life terrorism.

  • by Reality Master 201 (578873) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @02:13AM (#22330474) Journal
    Our (the US) government and its intelligence agencies are getting a little out of hand.
    • by rhizome (115711) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @03:20AM (#22330816) Homepage Journal
      Our (the US) government and its intelligence agencies are getting a little out of hand.

      Actually I think it's the reverse. Overreaching surveillance and torture tells me that the US intelligence agencies are way behind in their capabilities and skills, so they have to fall back on cruder methods. Some might say incompetent, but that tends to be taken as perjorative. I'm thinking more "developmentally disabled," because they may simply not be capable of researching good intelligence anymore.
  • by User 956 (568564) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @02:17AM (#22330496) Homepage
    because the Government can't currently monitor all the communication and interaction, terrorists will plot and scheme in such environments.

    If by "terrorists", you mean "furries" and "furry sympathizers", then I would have to agree with you.
    • by Fred_A (10934)

      If by "terrorists", you mean "furries" and "furry sympathizers", then I would have to agree with you.
      And if furries were deported to Guantanamo, it's a fair bet that nobody would care what happened down there.
    • by ozbird (127571)
      Geez, not all furries are terrorists [wikipedia.org].

      If you're serious about targeting terrorists, why not declare a War on Beards [thesleaze.co.uk]?
  • So, basically... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ikarous (1230832) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @02:17AM (#22330500)
    These people were paid to say, "Hey, um, terrorists might use the global communications network to communicate with one another." Better tear it down. Glad our taxes are going to good use.
    • Tear it down? Are you nuts? Our industry without email? No more online stores generating revenue abroad?

      Most certainly not. But we will limit it to whatever our businesses need and cut down, outlaw or simply disable the rest.
  • WTF (Score:2, Funny)

    by ludomancer (921940)
    Fact: Stupid articles like this breed terrorism.
    • If by 'terrorism' you means someone that wants to undermine the current U.S. government, return control back to the people and get this free country back on its path to allowing the people personal freedoms ...

      Then yea, this article pisses me off too ... I think we're being monitored ...
  • No (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 07, 2008 @02:22AM (#22330532)
    and I will blow up anyone who says otherwise.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 07, 2008 @02:24AM (#22330546)
    Just like free-thinking and education breeds terrorism...

    Be A Patriot! Don't Read!
  • and different, the government will be a afraid. To which I say, thank you. Change is what made this nation what it is, and I embrace it. I hate repeating the past. Change is what makes life worth living.
  • Q and A (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Husgaard (858362) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @02:28AM (#22330560)

    Will terrorists will plot and scheme where the government cannot monitor them?

    Yes, of course!

    Will it help to let the government monitor everywhere?

    Maybe a bit, if it is possible. But it would mean that we destroy the kind of society we are trying to defend against the terrorists.

    • Even then it won't, simply failing in the part that is "everywhere". Everywhere is a lot to monitor, and most of all it is not a closed set. As soon as you would monitore "everywhere", some terrorist would create a "somewhere" where there's no surveillance.

      You cannot monitor everything every time. Ask any parent who isn't in the delusion that they know everything about their kids. Or, easier, think back to your youth. Did your parents know everything about you all the time? And, hell, did they try?
  • Any more rediculous sensationalist statements? Sjeesj. I don't know about you people, but I'm not living out my life fearing the next, so-called terrorist, action.
     
    Bye! Gotta get to work.
  • by itsybitsy (149808) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @02:32AM (#22330584)
    The simple fact that humans organize into Governments that think that they can with impunity kill other human beings in other parts of the world is what breeds terrorism. When you bomb people a fraction of those that survive, or their relatives, or descendants, may at their choice become fighters against those bombers or those who otherwise terrorized them. It's simple primitive brain response to being killed and all humans still have that primitive brain, it's known as our lizard brain. It's responsible for the fight, flight or freeze response.

    So YES, any place that people gather, or communicate one on one, one on many or many on many will be a place where potential plans for evil deeds are carried out. The Pentagon is one such place for those with organized power centers while other places, real or virtual are places where those kinds of communications can occur.

    Those in power are those that kill. They are often the ones that also need to be stopped along with the - so called - terrorists that they fight. They both carry out evil deeds including killing.
    • Would somebody please explain why the above post was modded down to Troll?

      Thank-you.


      -FL

    • by pclminion (145572)

      It's simple primitive brain response to being killed

      I think the only response of a brain to being killed is "dying," don't you think?

      all humans still have that primitive brain, it's known as our lizard brain. It's responsible for the fight, flight or freeze response.

      This has nothing to do with terrorism. Terrorism requires planning, patience, and execution. A reptile can accomplish none of these things. "Getting pissed off" is something universal to most animals. But terrorism is a uniquely human

    • by Opportunist (166417) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @04:52AM (#22331182)
      War is the terror of the strong.
      Terror is the war of the weak.

      It's just that simple. It's amazing how people can cry for capital punishment with the argument "What if it was your child that was murdered?" and not understand the mindset of a terrorist, who is basically in the same camp.
  • and why would... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Lordfly (590616) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @02:35AM (#22330592) Homepage Journal
    And why would terrorists download a special client, usually made for graphics-intensive computers, and pay a monthly fee to hop in and "PM" Osama405_bigluv their nefarious plans? I thought terrorism's aims were generally low-budget and crass, not web 2.0.

    Ever heard of IRC? Email? Smoke signals?

    Just chatting in virtual worlds is too time consuming if you want to convey information quickly and easily. I should know, I work in them. :P Whenever there's a bunch of people trying to get a meeting done, it's done in Skype, or email, or IRC, or Basecamp.
    • by mpe (36238)
      Ever heard of IRC? Email? Smoke signals?

      Letters, telephone, talking, etc, etc.
  • I'm pretty sure that most MMOs record some conversation passing through their servers, if only to allow people to do a /report of the previous 20 lines of text should someone be spouting obscenities. In other MMOs, there isn't a direct /report command, but the GMs do have access to past chat logs, so when someone puts in a petition or ticket, they can go back and see what the person was writing about.

    Most likely, true trained terrorists (not some guys wanting to stick a stink bomb in a high school lunchroo
  • Let 'em (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gambolt (1146363) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @02:41AM (#22330632)
    Nothing terrorists can do is a bigger threat to our freedom and way of life than nincompoops who think all communication should be government monitored.
  • Farce on Terrorism (Score:5, Insightful)

    by secondhand_Buddah (906643) <secondhand.budda ... m ['l.c' in gap]> on Thursday February 07, 2008 @02:45AM (#22330660) Homepage Journal
    Terrorism is a phenomena that is internal to countries. Terrorists regard themselves as freedom fighters. terrorism occurs where people have been suppressed by a regime, and want their freedom back. They are not well armed, or have large numbers of forces at their disposal, so they rely on tactics to pressurise the population of a country to invoke change. Generally only small numbers of people are killed by terrorism, but the technique invokes fear, which in turn prompts for change.

    What is happening in America is not terrorism. It bears none of the characteristic traits. It is something else. Terrorism is probably something that will emerge in America in the next few years as/if the government becomes more suppressive. People seeking their liberty back will unite and work together to return liberty to USA. The current legislation being put in place is a strategy to counter the ability of people to unite and rise up against a government.

    If I was American or British right now, I would be very concerned.
    • by Gordonjcp (186804)
      If I was American or British right now, I would be very concerned.

      Thanks, we already know about terrorism. We'll let you know if we notice anything new.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        Have you noticed that your society has transcended before your eyes into a surveillance society. Do you know that you can now be detained indefinitely without trial? Do you know that there are elements within the British government that want total surveillance on your life?

        The thing is, the only terrorism you know was from the IRA, which is what I was describing. This new thing, labelled as terrorism is not. It is something else. As a British citizen you may remember that the IRA had clear objectives.

        T
  • Are you serious? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by uvajed_ekil (914487) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @02:46AM (#22330670)
    Using Second Life and "virtual worlds" to formulate terrorist plans? Why? Don't telephones, email, and real world meetings (that's when you are actually in the same room with someone, or outside near them, look it up) all work for these people? I don't know much about plotting against governments, but if I want to plan to go out for dinner tomorrow night, I am not going to make sure I have a computer running Second Life, create an account, wait for my friends to login, then make plans online; much easier to call them on the phone, send an email, or drop by to see them. Silly. Out of all forms of communication, I'd have to rank Second Life, etc. as about the most cumbersome and least convenient.
    • by ZDRuX (1010435)
      I agree 100% with you... unfortunately the government has no intention of listening in on your conversation in Second Life. This is done to spread fear, and the uncertain feeling that someone *MIGHT* be listening to your in Second Life (or on the phone, or in your emails, or in your letters, etc.. etc..) this creates a sense of uncertainty and some degree of fear, making sure nobody gets out of line, or even attempts at making a group of people to stage a protest, to share information (9/11 was an inside jo
  • by presidenteloco (659168) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @03:10AM (#22330778)
    plotting dangerous megalomaniacal schemes around my kitchen table either.

    Because they don't know I'm a terrorist.

    Oh, Sh**t! What's that red dot?
  • by dbIII (701233) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @03:13AM (#22330790)
    It's a plot for people in government agencies to sit around all day playing WoW and get paid for it!

    Even sysadmins can't get away with that. The best we can do is sit around all day playing slashdot and get paid for it.

  • Because everybody knows that terrorism didn't exist until the Internet boom. I mean obviously, 9/11 was caused by the Internet.
  • they stick to virtual attacks on virtual worlds, like blowing up things in Second Life
  • by freezingweasel (1049610) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @03:17AM (#22330804)
    Of course if I'm a terrorist I'm going to get people in place all over the US, and openly discuss my plans AFTER everyone is in place, in front of countless online witnesses, any one of which might not want us to kill them as opposed to making the plans before we came over and NOT EVER MENTIONING THEM.

    If the terrorists are really that incompetant, we don't need to stop them, because they're just going to mess their own plan up anyway.

    So two possibilities remain:

    1. This is a blatant move towards a police state, leaving people too afraid to speak their mind (ala China).

    2. There's legitimate reason to fear a massive uprising of "terrorism" from AMERICANS themselves. This sort of thing doesn't just happen in a vacuum. If this is expected, it begs the question, what are those pushing this bill planning to do that's so horrible Americans would revolt in large numbers? This is not a fear of legitimate governments that AREN'T looking to do something horrible.

    Someone might speculate that perhaps they aren't worried about ordinary citizens or terrorists, but that perhaps there's another secret group we don't know about (or the extent of) seeking to infiltrate the government. Darn those commies trying to sneak back in! If there was such a group, and they were well coordinated enough to make such an attempt, don't you think they'ed have their own encrypted communications, and possibly face to face IRL meetings that left no record?

    One way or another, this doesn't pass the smell test.
  • by jjohnson (62583) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @03:21AM (#22330820) Homepage
    Unlike telephone communications or bank records, there are few, if any, regulations covering privacy in MMOs. If terrorists are clever enough to figure out using the drafts folder of a hotmail account for communicating, they're clever enough to figure out that Blizzard probably won't even ask for a subpoena, they'll just record the keystrokes of anyone the NSA asks them to.
  • I might be planning terrorism in my brain.

    ??? If they knew me, they would say "not bloody likely"... but of course they do not know me so... their suspicion is somehow justified???

    These government assholes are the ones we should be worried about, not the frigging people in Everquest!
    • But now they know that you entertain the notion of planning terrorism in your brain.... You could be first on the list when they have the mind readers.
  • Many years ago, word went out over the mailing lists and (then very junior) newsnet about how packets were being dipped and 'The Powers That Be' were recording/snooping/doing all that bad stuff. It turned out that a few people had been playing with the wonderful and useful tracert command (now less useful, due to finger command paranoia). They had noticed nodes which only seemed to have IP numbers, not addresses. They concluded this must be the NSA.

    The point here is that none of this paranoia is especially
  • we also scheme heavily on slashdot.
  • IF virtual worlds become important (they are not yet) then they MIGHT become a breeding ground for terrorism. Second life is mentioned, which is a "popular" and often discussed virtual world.

    I say "popular" because while a great number of people have downloaded, and far more have heard of it, the actual number of active "players" is rather low.

    As you get older, you start to see more and more that everything old is new again. I seem to remember similar story about BBS systems. Remember when everyone had to

  • I'm sure they're keeping terrorist recruiters or suspected terrorists under surveilance right now. So, do they actually have some evidence to collaborate this like for example terrorists being caught with WoW accounts, that have only low level characters to talk and not play since many of them aren't gamers? Or is this simply yet another "We can't find the terrorists, so they must be [somewhere else]"? I'd wager the latter, there are so many other easy ways to encode something and send over the Internet. I
    • by Dunbal (464142)
      I'm sure they're keeping terrorist recruiters or suspected terrorists under surveilance right now.

      You americans make me laugh [youtube.com]. Yeah, the government has everything under control. Keep believing it, after all it's only another lie.
  • by Maljin Jolt (746064) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @05:10AM (#22331260) Journal
    Does Anonymity In Virtual Worlds Breed Terrorism?

    No, it is repression and colonialism in real world that breeds terrorism.
  • by mlush (620447) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @05:14AM (#22331280)

    The number of false positives is going to be astronomical. A bunch of terrorists planning a attack is going to sound very much like a bunch of spotty teens planing to raid the Dungeon of Crushing Inevitability.

  • by JetScootr (319545) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @08:13AM (#22332076) Journal
    If it supports anonymous free speech. Any uncontrolled arena in life will be viewed by government as a threat. That's why the Bill of Rights was written in the first place.
  • Privacy != terrorism (Score:3, Interesting)

    by AmiMoJo (196126) <mojo@@@world3...net> on Thursday February 07, 2008 @09:16AM (#22332394) Homepage

    "IARPA's thesis is that because the Government can't currently monitor all the communication and interaction, terrorists will plot and scheme in such environments."


    Are they seriously trying to imply that we won't be safe unless the government can monitor all communication, all the time? I.e. that any kind of privacy breeds terrorism?
  • by g0bshiTe (596213) on Thursday February 07, 2008 @09:27AM (#22332476)
    They are there now, plotting, and terrorizing.

    We call them griefers .
  • by ProteusQ (665382) <dontbother@nowhe r e . c om> on Thursday February 07, 2008 @11:44AM (#22334168) Journal
    It's just too hard to govern when we act as if the Constitution meant something. It would just be easier for overworked bureaucrats, politicians, and CEO's if we just submitted our will to a Larger Program. Don't you think?

    Oh, wait... I said "think". Slip of the tongue! I may need more reeducation.

Put no trust in cryptic comments.

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