By Alex Kane
Players of fantasy games like World of Warcraft are usually worried about their character dying or running out of money. But new documents leaked by whistleblower Edward Snowden reveal that they should have another concern: government spying.
The New York Times’ and Pro Publica’s Mark Mazzetti and Justin Elliott have written a story detailing how the National Security Agency and its British counterpart, Government Communication Headquarters, have infiltrated the online games World of Warcraft and Second Life. Known as massively multiplayer online role-playing games, World of Warcraft and Second Life create virtual worlds for players.
The NSA and GCHQ have collected data and the content of communications of players in the games. They have also created characters for the express purpose of infiltrating the games to spy on and recruit players to become informers. It’s the latest revelation to show that the NSA has a “collect it all” model that now extends to video games.