Surreptitiously Twisted in Second Life

Slightly Twisted (moderate)

Much has been made of the “big” story this week. It apparently took the release of highly secret documents to uncover the shocking news that the NSA, and other covert agencies, had “infiltrated” online games like World of Warcraft and Second Life (we’ll ignore the whole SL isn’t a game thing).

Slightly Twisted (moderate)

I’m going to take exception to two aspects of the reporting on this “duh” revelation. The first is that headlines everywhere used some form of the word “infiltrate”, the definition of which is “to enter or gain access to (an organization, place, etc.) surreptitiously and gradually…..”.

Now, our purposes might be different, but explain to me how that type of action is dissimilar to the way in which we all enter the virtual world? It’s not like avatars have to wear a mask to conceal their identity (and, yes, Jon Stewart made this point in a typically hilarious fashion, although he did resort to the traditional “snirk Gamers” mindset).

Slightly Twisted (moderate)

My favourite part of the story is this: “so many CIA, FBI and Pentagon spies were hunting around in Second Life, the document noted, that a “deconfliction” group was needed to avoid collisions”. Ha!

If any of these reporters had been inworld they’d know that the “deconfliction” group was actually for these users to compare notes on Viewers (“But I like 1.3!”), bugs (It was in my inventory a minute ago!), shopping (Who has good dark sunglasses?), and how to explain SL (But it’s not a game!). I’ll bet their parties get really wild.

Slightly Twisted (moderate)

I doubt anybody was terribly shocked to find out that spies might be wandering the grid. It would be fun, though, to see the files they’ve collected on furries and vampires and Tinies.

There are bigger problems in both worlds and, in this season of goodwill, I suggest we reach out to our secretive fellow residents. If you see somebody in a dark suit, wearing sunglasses and mumbling into a wrist-watch, take them dancing.  At the very least we should be happy that there’s one section of the Community where retention won’t be an issue. :)

Slightly Twisted (moderate)
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  1. “There are bigger problems in both worlds and, in this season of goodwill, I suggest we reach out to our secretive fellow residents. If you see somebody in a dark suit, wearing sunglasses and mumbling into a wrist-watch, take them dancing.”

    …the above had me let out a great guffaw. You’ve nailed the silliness of the ‘Big Story’ for sure. As a moderator on a popular conspiracy board, I can tell you that not only have the spooks joined as members, but they’re participating in threads and having fun.

    • Exactly! We need to do some kind of project to convince the world that spooks are people too :)

      • People they might be. But not the kind of people I wanna be associated with. They are working for a basically fascist anti-democratic agency that slowly but surely undermines our human rights.
        I get mad when I hear all the shills going like “Let them spy, I have nothing to hide. And if you have something to hide you’re not a good person and deserve to be monitored.”

        Well, I have something to hide, like everybody else, and still I’m a good person with a high set of principles and morals. As a free person I don’t need to be monitored … and much more important I object to any monitoring. I think my values are much more worthy than those of the NSA, CIA or whoever is snooping around in SL. In fact they are evil and I regard them as enemies and disturbing factors to our society.

      • I wouldn’t use the word “evil” myself – however, I do believe in the right to privacy and keep myself as under the radar as possible.

        SL is, though, is hard to picture as a rich hunting ground for them.

        By the same token it’s not a surprise they’re there. We’ve had undercover police inworld for years – their focus was pedophiles using real world pics for inworld groups etc.

  2. First, seriously: I do not worry at all about in-world spies. If they can cut through the drama and meaningless chatter to find something -anything- meaningful, more power to them.
    Second: Contemplate the avatar of someone sitting at a terminal at the NSA, and the reaction of anyone looking over their shoulder! ROFL

  3. ahuva18

     /  December 16, 2013

    You have solved the question of SL’s survival. All we have to do is get enough spy groups inworld, spying on each other, to keep up concurrency and Linden dollar circulation, and the rest of us don’t have to worry about SL going away. Brilliant. :)

  1. Surreptitiously Twisted in Second Life | Second...
  2. Spies Also Only Dream | Through a Glass, Darkly

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