Xbox Live among game services targeted by US and UK spy agencies
To the National Security Agency analyst writing a briefing to his superiors, the situation was clear: their current surveillance efforts were lacking something. The agency's impressive arsenal of cable taps and sophisticated hacking attacks was not enough. What it really needed was a horde of undercover Orcs. That vision of spycraft sparked a concerted drive by the NSA and its UK sister agency GCHQ to infiltrate the massive communities playing online games, according to secret documents disclosed by whistleblower Edward Snowden. The files were obtained by the Guardian and are being published on Monday in partnership with the New York Times and ProPublica. The agencies, the documents show, have built mass-collection capabilities against the Xbox Live console network, which has more than 48 million players. Games, the analyst wrote, "are an opportunity!". If properly exploited, games could produce vast amounts of intelligence, according to the NSA document.
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• Surveillance II
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