Gov't Says Second Life + Online Anonymity = Terrorism

from the oh-really? dept

Just as our courts on continually pointing out that anonymity is protected free speech, it appears that the federal government is trying to do away with anonymity entirely. We've already pointed out that National Intelligence Director Mike McConnell has been saying that the government should be able to monitor all internet communications. Now, the government's Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity has come out with a fear mongering report trying to suggest that online anonymity in 3D worlds leads to terrorism. It highlights things like Second Life as a breeding ground for terrorism. It's all quite scary if it weren't for the fact that it's totally baseless. There's no evidence at all that this kind of activity is happening in world's like Second Life. In fact, the report buries a quote from an anonymous (ha!) intelligence official admitting that there's no evidence whatsoever that any such activity is happening at all. As the EFF points out in the link above, private communications online are nothing new. The fact that they might take place in a 3D virtual is totally meaningless -- other than to suggest that there are folks involved in national "intelligence" who aren't that intelligent at all.

Filed Under: anonymity, online anonymity, security, terrorism, virtual worlds


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  • identicon
    Ajax 4Hire, 7 Feb 2008 @ 9:49am

    You cannot make this stuff up...

    Now I know what happened to the people in high school who did not go to college.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 7 Feb 2008 @ 10:46am

      Re: You cannot make this stuff up...

      lol, they are likely more intelligent than you, since you obviously think you're better than them. Stupid comments like yours are the kind of thing you'd expect from THOSE people.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        dorpass, 7 Feb 2008 @ 10:49am

        Re: Re: You cannot make this stuff up...

        Now that makes you stupider than either one of them, since you think you are smarter than Ajax, and with your amazing logic you proved that it's the kind of thinking that proves you are actually stupider. Go you.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    ChurchHatesTucker, 7 Feb 2008 @ 10:31am

    If you thought 9/11 was bad...

    ...wait 'til they start crashing giant penises into buildings!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    tired of the goverment crap, 7 Feb 2008 @ 10:41am

    POWER over you and me

    Just the goverment saying anything to give themselves more power over the people. As everyone knows we cant decide anything for ourselves and need some jack a** to tell us what is right and wrong. I think they want to be everyones parent so they can tell us what we can and cannot do.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Ehren E. Turner, 7 Feb 2008 @ 10:49am

    How to breed terrorists

    A much, much better way to breed terrorists is to selectively eliminate basic human rights, like free speech (which requires privacy in order to be free) while simultaneously allowing the disenfranchised group to purchase as many fire arms as they please. An even better way: try to take the guns away first.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Thom, 7 Feb 2008 @ 11:12am

    Wow

    Option 1) Publicly proclaim that Second Life and such are breeding grounds for terrorism, argue the need to monitor all such traffic, and then use literally millions of times more computer resources trying to do so while any terrorists go elsewhere.

    Option 2) Get a few second life accounts, send agents in to find and infiltrate existing groups in this anonymous environment or "promote" ideas which will draw such individuals to them.

    Government chooses option 1, an expensive, overreaching, unmanageable act of stupidity over option 2, the time tested and proven intelligence tactic. No big surprise, the mark of the beas^k^k^k Bush and Company is all over this one.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 Feb 2008 @ 11:31am

    Article said...

    Article said that could be happening, but there was no prove as of yet that it has happened. Part of the CIA's job is to research areas where terrorism could take place, but then again, if it was up to Mike he would just make a SWOT analysis and charge a $1000 bucks to the government for his brilliant analysis.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Overcast, 7 Feb 2008 @ 11:41am

    Yes, we can expect them to start putting this 'spin' on anything they don't like.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    John Canada, 7 Feb 2008 @ 11:43am

    I guess you Americans will have to apply for a "REAL ID" for you Second Life personna

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      world worry (profile), 7 Feb 2008 @ 12:02pm

      Re: john canada

      You know, I understand the U.S. is making a world-wide a$$ of itself thanks to politician, but to every other net savvy person on the globe, this actually affects you too..These stupid laws are not aimed just at american, but ANYONE that connects to a server that can be claimed to reside in america. These politicians are going to try to use the wonderful 6 degrees of separation by saying if you can pay with american money to join said virtual environment, then that means the finance server is touching american soil, and thus it affects american xenophobia. It is unfortunate that the backlash of narrow minded McCarthyism actors is going to affect not only what one country does, but start the dividing line all over again, all over the globe. The walls are already being built, both real and virtual, and soon border checkpoints will start again, both real and virtual. You can scoff, but take a look at each county's legal system and see how many court cases are influenced but the dictatorship of the U.S.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Sokol, 7 Feb 2008 @ 2:21pm

        Re: Re: john canada

        Why must these wacko's always try to comdem this great country? We continuously aid just about every nation on this planet and have this type of response from the not un educated, but severly miss informed populous. Look at Germany, they complain, we say ok well move our bases out of Germany and they panic, and ask us to stay. IMHO we should stop all aid to yes even canada, and stop helping you people in any way sheesh.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 Feb 2008 @ 11:47am

    Lol, I wonder if the 'gub-ment' knows people have programmed their avatars to perform sign language in Second-life? Try monitoring avatar movement as well as text exchanges...that should be interesting.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    nick, 7 Feb 2008 @ 11:54am

    I just think that no one should be allowed to talk to each other without direct governmental supervision.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      ResonatorDolo, 7 Feb 2008 @ 12:25pm

      Re:

      This is clearly the correct answer. Nice work, patriot! *salute*

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 7 Feb 2008 @ 3:15pm

      Re:

      by nick on Feb 7th, 2008 @ 11:54am
      I just think that no one should be allowed to talk to each other without direct governmental supervision.
      How anyone can not see the crystal clarity of this revelation is beyond me! You sir are a scholar and a patriot, and I salute you!

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    My Name Here, 7 Feb 2008 @ 12:26pm

    If cocaine can get across the border and poison the people here in the US, and nothing can be done about it. What good is there in spying on people in a virtual world? With the off chance that they find any thing that will make me safer at what cost does this come? More freedoms gone, my tax dollars for this? Annonymity doesn't make somene a terrorist, and apparently being the National intelligence director doesn't make someone intelligent.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 Feb 2008 @ 12:31pm

    Oh come on....

    Does anyone here actually think that the US government honestly believes that terrorism is being bred in Second Life? Complete and utter tosh. They just want to monitor everything, and are using the word "terrorism" to scare the average American into not contesting their decisions. Which has already worked several times.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Alimas, 7 Feb 2008 @ 1:14pm

      Re: Oh come on....

      Those in charge might not actually believe that terrorists are hiding in "second Life", but they are clearly stupid enough to think that the animosity versus us in the world really does have nothing to do with our foreign policies.
      And so does our pathetic populace.
      And thus the "terrorist" sentence additive works so well.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 Feb 2008 @ 1:05pm

    Relax, as soon as we boot that boob from the White House a lot of this shit will get rolled back.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Evil-G, 7 Feb 2008 @ 1:29pm

    Quit Yur B^@#$

    Then get off yur @$$'s and do something about it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Whatever, 7 Feb 2008 @ 1:47pm

    The next great thought....

    Trick or Treat must be terrorist activity also. Why, all those midgets in masks could have WMD in their little pumpkin bags....

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 Feb 2008 @ 4:31pm

    I was going to post a comment about this, but my government appointed nanny smacked my fingers with a ruler as I was about to type out the original comment.

    Land of the Free (or so we would like you to believe)

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    mikrat, 7 Feb 2008 @ 7:38pm

    This has Nothing to do with Terrorists. It has All to do with Control of the sheeple.

    Bring it on Government Fucktards, see how far you get.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Andrew Yu-Jen Wang, 2 Mar 2009 @ 4:24pm

    Speaking of terrorism:

    George W. Bush committed hate crimes of epic proportions and with the stench of terrorism (indicated in my blog).

    George W. Bush did in fact commit innumerable hate crimes.

    And I do solemnly swear by Almighty God that George W. Bush committed other hate crimes of epic proportions and with the stench of terrorism which I am not at liberty to mention.

    Many people know what Bush did.

    And many people will know what Bush did—even to the end of the world.

    Bush was absolute evil.

    Bush is now like a fugitive from justice.

    Bush is a psychological prisoner.

    Bush has a lot to worry about.

    Bush can technically be prosecuted for hate crimes at any time.

    In any case, Bush will go down in history in infamy.

    Submitted by Andrew Yu-Jen Wang
    B.S., Summa Cum Laude, 1996
    Messiah College, Grantham, PA
    Lower Merion High School, Ardmore, PA, 1993

    “GEORGE W. BUSH IS THE WORST PRESIDENT IN U.S. HISTORY” BLOG OF ANDREW YU-JEN WANG
    ______________________
    I am not sure where I had read it before, but anyway, it is a linguistically excellent statement, and it goes kind of like this: “If only it were possible to ban invention that bottled up memory so it never got stale and faded.” Oh wait—off of the top of my head—I think the quotation came from my Lower Merion High School yearbook.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Alex The Noob, 30 Apr 2009 @ 1:07pm

    TERROR in SL?

    This whole thing begs the question: Just what are these government workers who are paid at the expense of the tax payers doing screwing around in Second Life instead of actually earning their pay by catching bad guys or something?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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