July 19-22, 2017
In their efforts to combat extremist messaging and recruitment, U.S. and British intelligence agencies have extended their surveillance dragnet to include massively multiplayer online role playing games (MMORPG) such as the World of Warcraft and Second Life. Fearing that violent extremists are using MMORPGs to secretly plot, move funds, or communicate, allied intelligence officers have created characters to combat terrorists on the virtual battlefield.
A top-secret 2008 NSA document warned that online games had the potential to be a “target-rich communication network” as popular titles draw millions of players from around the globe. Mark Mazzetti, author of The Way of the Knife and correspondent for The New York Times, reports on MMORPGs and counterterrorism here.