Hey Big Brother, you like my Panda Priest Posse? Oh it’s cool, you can roll with us. We’re going to Azeroth ... What? No, that’s not the name of a mosque. Why would you think that?
Apparently that satire is no stranger than real life; the NSA and FBI, among other agencies, have employed a number of agents to play MMORPGs (Massive Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games) and uncover suspected terrorist plots. By playing World of Warcraft.
Yep. Notorious den of thieves and degenerates, that WoW. Infiltrating a coded world of night elves and paladins to search for Bomberman was a good idea on paper, supposedly. But despite what the NSA’s mothers told them, playing video games doesn’t turn kids into violent adults. The infiltrations and surveillance have turned up nothing.
In what is surely a coincidental and in no way connected event, eight of the country’s largest technology companies (AOL, Apple, Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Twitter, and Yahoo) have signed a letter to the federal government, calling for domestic surveillance reforms. It’s important to note that some of the loudest voices in the group wear charcoal sweaters.
Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook CEO, for example: “Reports about government surveillance have shown there is a real need for greater disclosure and new limits on how governments collect information. The U.S. government should take this opportunity to lead this reform effort and make things right.”
Yet Facebook is known for its heavy-handed abuses of user privacy.
On to an entire country known for abuses of personal privacy -- China. But good news, everyone! China Mobile is launching a 4G network that will support the iPhone 5S. This will give the carrier’s 700 million customers access to Apple’s newest phone and likely tip the Android/iOS away from the little green alien. At the moment, around 80 percent of smartphones in China run on a version of Android OS although technically, Apple phones are the most popular.
But statistics are often deceiving. Right, NSA?
Tech reporter and on-air personality. Ambitious, but not rubbish. CUNY J-School alum and fan of all things that go vroom.