Report: Spies look for real terrorists in virtual worlds - New York News

Report: Spies look for real terrorists in virtual worlds

Posted: Updated:
MYFOXNY.COM -

In the online roll-playing game world of Warcraft players fight and kill computer-controlled monsters or avatars of other players. But it turns out hard core gamers may not be the only ones logging on. According to secret documents, games like World of Warcraft have been infiltrated by American and British spies in an attempt to discover and dismantle terrorist networks.

The information is the latest to be leaked by National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden.

"They're turning over every rock electronically, to use that metaphor, they will find what they're looking for," said Shelly Palmer, a tech expert.

So what are they looking for in these games? According to documents, the virtual world game Second Life and games played through Xbox Live were also under surveillance.

Palmer explains the games provide an opportunity for real time chat between players.

"Inside all the video games in question are real time chat environments which theoretically wouldn't be monitored because they're about game playing but they could also be a safe haven," Palmer said, "or people might think they are a safe haven, for people who want to communicate under the radar, but maybe not."

Inside Video Games New York in the East Village, we spoke to avid gamer and store manager Dan Mastin, and his boss, store owner Jukio Graziani, to get their takes on the latest spying disclosures.

"I don't think any of it is justified, the reach is kind of too far," Mastin said.

Graziani said: "If you're looking for people who are terrorists, I have no problem with it, but are they looking for something else?"

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • NYPD Twitter hashtag backfires

    NYPD Twitter hashtag backfires

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 6:23 AM EDT2014-04-23 10:23:11 GMT
    A NYPD plan intended to better connect with the community seems to have backfired a bit. The police department asked its twitter followers to share pictures of themselves with New York City police officers using the hashtag "myNYPD." Some did share nice pictures, but others not so much.Some of the first pictures posted showed regular citizens standing with very friendly looking police officers.
    A NYPD plan intended to better connect with the community seems to have backfired a bit. The police department asked its twitter followers to share pictures of themselves with New York City police officers using the hashtag "myNYPD." Some did share nice pictures, but others not so much.Some of the first pictures posted showed regular citizens standing with very friendly looking police officers.
  • Caesars enters New York casino competition

    Caesars enters New York casino competition

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 10:52 PM EDT2014-04-23 02:52:22 GMT
    Caesars Entertainment entered the competition to open a casino in upstate New York on Tuesday with a proposal to build a $750 million complex 50 miles north of New York City. The complex would include a casino, a hotel and a meeting space and would be located in Woodbury, in Orange County. The Las Vegas-based Caesars, which operates 52 casinos around the world, has submitted a $1 million casino license application fee to state gambling regulators.
    Caesars Entertainment entered the competition to open a casino in upstate New York on Tuesday with a proposal to build a $750 million complex 50 miles north of New York City. The complex would include a casino, a hotel and a meeting space and would be located in Woodbury, in Orange County. The Las Vegas-based Caesars, which operates 52 casinos around the world, has submitted a $1 million casino license application fee to state gambling regulators.
  • Hoax 'swatting' call sends dozens of cops to LI home

    Hoax 'swatting' call sends dozens of cops to LI home

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 10:43 PM EDT2014-04-23 02:43:53 GMT
    Heavily armed police officers descended on a home in Long Beach, Long Island, Tuesday afternoon thinking they might find a grisly murder scene. Instead they found a terrified woman who had no clue what they were talking about and her teenaged son playing video games. "We received a phone call from a gentleman who stated he had just shot his mother and his brother," Long Beach Police Commissioner Michael Tangney said. "Unfortunately, this is a terrible national problem for law enforcement."
    Heavily armed police officers descended on a home in Long Beach, Long Island, Tuesday afternoon thinking they might find a grisly murder scene. Instead they found a terrified woman who had no clue what they were talking about and her teenaged son playing video games. "We received a phone call from a gentleman who stated he had just shot his mother and his brother," Long Beach Police Commissioner Michael Tangney said. "Unfortunately, this is a terrible national problem for law enforcement."
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices