NSA, CIA, other intelligence agencies target online games, reports say

Part of the appeal of online games — particularly massive, multiplayer titles such as World of Warcraft or Second Life — is that they let players escape into a separate, virtual world. But recent news reports indicate that agents from the National Security Agency, FBI, CIA, and British Government Communications Headquarters have been scoping out these and other online gaming communities in search of real-world threats.The reports, part of a collaboration between the New York Times, ProPublica and The Guardian, indicate that agencies were not only spying on games but also looking through users’ online chats. A document from the NSA, published by the Guardian, outlined several ways for these agencies to use the games’ communication channels to identify and monitor players who they think might be able to provide key information for investigations.

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