Skip to comments.Xbox Live among game services targeted by US and UK spy agencies (NSA scandal grows)
Posted on 12/11/2013 10:00:16 AM PST by Dave346
The NSA document, written in 2008 and titled Exploiting Terrorist Use of Games & Virtual Environments, stressed the risk of leaving games communities under-monitored, describing them as a "target-rich communications network" where intelligence targets could "hide in plain sight".
Games, the analyst wrote, "are an opportunity!". According to the briefing notes, so many different US intelligence agents were conducting operations inside games that a "deconfliction" group was required to ensure they weren't spying on, or interfering with, each other.
If properly exploited, games could produce vast amounts of intelligence, according to the NSA document. They could be used as a window for hacking attacks, to build pictures of people's social networks through "buddylists and interaction", to make approaches by undercover agents, and to obtain target identifiers (such as profile photos), geolocation, and collection of communications.
The ability to extract communications from talk channels in games would be necessary, the NSA paper argued, because of the potential for them to be used to communicate anonymously: Second Life was enabling anonymous texts and planning to introduce voice calls, while game noticeboards could, it states, be used to share information on the web addresses of terrorism forums.
Given that gaming consoles often include voice headsets, video cameras, and other identifiers, the potential for joining together biometric information with activities was also an exciting one.
But the documents contain no indication that the surveillance ever foiled any terrorist plots, nor is there any clear evidence that terror groups were using the virtual communities to communicate as the intelligence agencies predicted.
It is unclear how the agencies accessed their data, or how many communications were collected. Nor is it clear how the NSA ensured that it was not monitoring innocent Americans whose identity and nationality may have been concealed behind their virtual avatar.
(Excerpt) Read more at theguardian.com ...
I want to join the NSA so I can play Halo all day and get paid!
not to worry, with the XBOX One, the NSA will be able to see and hear everything you do in your living room. The sensors so sensitive they can track your hands, feet, and your junk.
If some game developer produced a “Game” that instead of being some WWII war game, was a “USA Civil War II” game.
Put it on X-Box live, players can pick their side and coordinate their strategies and tactics with other players.
I wonder how much interest the NSA or FBI would have in monitoring players activity outside the gaming environment.
The NSA is out of control. General Alexander needs to be impeached by the House and removed by the Senate and then tried for violating the Privacy Act. The same goes true for John Clapper who should also face charges of willfully testifying falsely under oath to Congress.
I want to play that game!
Lord help them if they mess with my Minecraft world!!
So do I !!
I think it is an interesting idea for a game, but would be a massive undertaking to do it right.
I wonder if the NSA snoops into Playstation’s network
There are so many online games on PC too, how would they monitor all the players? It would be impossible wouldn’t it?
Right now the NSA is building new facilities that are 7 times larger than the pentagon.
With all of their supercomputers I wouldn’t put anything past them.
Big brother is everywhere now!
If the NSA can get into XBOX Live and track people, I assume they are able to do the same with PC Games as well as the Playstation Network..damn, and I was going to buy an XBOX ONE too(Since I already have a PS4) I turn off the XBOX when not in use anyway so the Kinect would be off as well
There are so many online games on PC too, how would they monitor all the players? It would be impossible wouldnt it?
If the NSA were given access by Xbox etc to their data feeds, they can monitor everything.
The problem they would have would be trying to determine the difference between legitimate “gaming chatter” and real terrorist chatter/planning etc.
It seems to be all about the company you keep.
If they can turn on your webcam without you knowing it and listen to a cellphone when its turned off, then they probably can listen/watch the Kinect while the console is off.
yes it is
The NSA has tons of blackmail material on CONgressmen. We need to get rid of all of them - every current and former Republican and Democrat.
Its scary what the NSA has become..they are probably tracking blogs and what everyone is saying..scary times indeed..now I wonder if I should even bother getting an XBOX ONE..the games for it now are not super great but they will be over time
“Destiny” sounds really cool.
A lot of the processing will done in the cloud. A lot of the action you see in the game isn’t even done by your consoles processor. Something sort of new and different.
Sort of a Halo meets Independence Day type game I read.
A new system update is being rolled out today which is going to fix a lot of problems. I guess if I do buy one(Since Best Buy and Amazon both have them currently in stock, well, they are pretty much in stock everywhere) I will buy it from a place where I can return it if its defective, since some people have complained about dvd drives that refuse to open and make weird noises..Also Titanfall looks good
“Titanfall” looks like the same type of genre as “Destiny” to me. The pics and clips of them look really good.
No worries, Generation Text is going to end up electing people who will replicate the Church Committee of the 1970’s. So Clapper, Alexander, et. al., will get their comeuppance.
Whether we are left with any sort of functioning intelligence service in the aftermath remains to be seen.
Given the abuses we've seen (and more disturbingly, the ones we haven't), it might be better to abolish and start anew.
Nothing stops you from using gamespace for meetings unrelated to the game.
Sort of like “Caprica”.
What do you think of Ryse and Dead Rising 3? Do you have the XBOX ONE? I was going to buy it but the PS4 people said it sucked and now all this stuff about the NSA makes me nervous, but I guess they are tracking everything anyway so whats one more thing LOL
No, XBOX One yet. I like to see them out long enough to work out the bugs first. :p
This update is being released today..wonder if it fixes the NSA issue LOL
Xbox One will be receiving a system update in the next few hours that focuses on addressing certain issues involving the dashboard, notifications, SmartGlass, and matchmaking, Microsoft has announced.
In a post announcing the new update, Major Nelson outlined just what the update will do:
Addresses SmartGlass issues for some users when coming in and out of connected standby
Addresses multiplayer issues for some users when re-joining games
Addresses issues with inconsistent notifications for some users
Addresses dashboard performance for some users
Offers improvements for Xbox One’s TV, system update, and content update services for scaling over time
Updated wireless networking driver to improve connectivity issues for some users
Also explained are the two ways the update will be made available, as the process through which the update is being distributed is different than in the past. The first wave will begin today, December 10, at 5PM Pacific/8PM Eastern for those who are making use of the Xbox One’s lower power Instant On state — the one that allows it to be turned on using the “Xbox On” voice command.
When the system is not on after 5PM Pacific today (regardless of whether the system was already off or is turned off after that time), the update will be downloaded automatically and the system will be powered down completely so that “Xbox On” won’t wake it. The system will have to be manually turned back on after the update is done downloading, at which point it will automatically install. The green Xbox One logo page will be displayed for 2-5 minutes during this process, and once the installation is complete, the system will reboot and send you to the dashboard.
Those who aren’t using Instant On will have to wait until Thursday, December 12, at 4PM Pacific/7PM Eastern for the update to be downloaded.
The fixes in this update aren’t those — like upgrades to the party and multiplayer invitation systems — that are most anticipated, but Major Nelson did say more updates are in the works for next year. “We’ve got quite a few updates planned for the next year based on the community feedback we’ve been seeing, and I’ll have details on those in the future,” he wrote.
Xbox One’s first major update came on launch day in the form of a mandatory patch. Without it, none of the system’s functionality — including playing games or watching TV or movies — is available for use.
“Is your XBox On?”
“Well, it is now, thanks a lot! gee”
Not so brilliant idea.
The PS4 doesn’t suck, if anything it’s a slightly more powerful system. The opening lineup of games has been mediocre, but that happens a lot. In the end either one will be good. I plan on the PS4 sooner and maybe Xbone later on. The main reason to get a Xbone is to use as a media center more than a game system. I already have a TiVo so I don’t really need the media part as much. The Xbone doesn’t have it yet, but they’re going to try to make it a full DVR. The bad part is the hard drive that comes with it is awfully small.
Thankfully the PS4’s cam/mic are optional. With the Xbone if you don’t want to be watched/heard you’ll have to pull the power. It’ll certainly be able to activate the cam/mic while ‘turned off’ unless you pull the power.
I heard that Verizon or someone has a new cable box that can see how many people are watching and hear what they are talking about... “for helping the advertisers know if their ads are having an impact” they say... sure.... NSA will know too...
It’s really a shame too, cause voice commands and visual interaction was something I looked forward to. Now it’s just an easy hack or deliberate government useful spying tool.
Just get a ps4 instead heh
Oh I already have one and I have an XBOX 360 so figured it was time for the new console but I will wait, I dont want the NSA watching me in my PJ’s
I don’t see any alternative to tearing the whole mess down and starting over — the institutional cultures of the agencies are just too steeped in corruption and contempt for American values.