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Wednesday, February 6, 2008

The Interwebs: Scary Goings-On in Second Life -- Terrorists and Furries -- Oh My!

"Well, no Islamo-Fascists here...the Second Life slopes are secure..."

The august journal of all that is happening in our nation's capitol, The Washington Post, reports today that "intelligence agencies" are deeply concerned about the possibility that virtual worlds such as Second Life could be a haven for terrorists and other no-goodniks. Or at least that's their excuse for creating an avatar that looks like a racoon and getting it on with someone whose avatar looks like a bear twice a day. Shame on you!

The Post quotes a paper from the government's Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity or IARPA (interestingly this is also the sound my cat makes when he pukes) as saying:
"Unfortunately, what started out as a benign environment where people would congregate to share information or explore fantasy worlds is now offering the opportunity for religious/political extremists to recruit, rehearse, transfer money, and ultimately engage in information warfare or worse with impunity."

They didn't add "...and that's why I've been surfing the net all day, so get off my back!" But they could have. They did ponder however: "What additional things are possible in the virtual world that cannot be done in the real world? The [intelligence community] needs to 'red team' some possible scenarios of use."

Certainly having agents who can fly around at will would be real handy, as would being able to appear and dissapear, and change your shape. This defintely merits further investigation, and a budget increase to pay for pizza deliveries and maybe a webcam.

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