Well this is odd:

The extent to which government agencies monitor online behavior is coming into focus. United States and British government agents have been monitoring fantasy games like World of Warcraft and Second Life, as well as the Xbox Live platform since 2008, performing surveillance and scooping up personal data for the online networks used by millions. That’s according to documents from whistle-blower Edward Snowden released today via the New York Times and the Guardian.

Based on a fear that World of Warcraft, Second Life, and Xbox Live could be used by enemies to communicate, move money, or clandestinely plot attacks, United States (NSA) and British (GCHQ) government agents created characters and accounts to snoop on its users and gain information where possible, the documents show.

This 2008 NSA document, called “Exploiting Terrorist Use of Games & Virtual Environments,” warned of the implications of leaving these online game networks undermonitored. The documents described the services as a “target-rich communications network” through which potential intelligence targets could “hide in plain sight.”

The revelations caused much consternation in the gaming world, especially from my husband who is a Warcraft fanatic. He recently wrote, “An Open Letter to President Obama, from a Level 90 Elf Priest,” which expresses the betrayal he felt upon realizing the government has infiltrated even his leisure time.

He better get used to it, as the government grows and grows so far beyond what the founders intended.

 

About The Author

Nancy French

Nancy French is a three-time New York Times best-selling author. Her most recent books include a collaboration with Sarah Palin on her new book Good Tidings and Great Joy: Protecting the Heart of Christmas and with famous Chinese dissident Bob Fu on his book God’s Double Agent: The True Story of a Chinese Christian’s Fight for Freedom. Other books include Home and Away: A Story of Family in a Time of War which she co-authored with her husband David French. She also collaborated with Bristol Palin on her book Not Afraid of Life: My Story So Far and with Olympic gold medalist Shawn Johnson’s A Winning Balance: What I’ve Learned So Far about Love, Faith, and Living Your Dreams. She also wrote Red State of Mind: How a Catfish Queen Reject Became a Liberty Belle. She is the editor of the Faith and Family Channel on Patheos, writes for National Review Online and Rare magazine, and has written in numerous publications, such as USA Today, Parents magazine, and the Philadelphia Inquirer.   She and her husband David have a home in Franklin, Tennessee, where they and their three children attend Zion Presbyterian Church (PCA).