Quantcast

«

»

Dec 20 2013

The NSA enters the world of make believe

Stephen Colbert takes a look at what the NSA is up to in the virtual worlds of World of Warcraft and Second Life, while the FBI spies on people through their computer webcams. It is easy to see how the people doing this might have started out justifying it as a way of fighting terrorism but that it acquired a life of its own and became an addiction. Like World of Warcraft and Second Life, in fact.

The Colbert Report
Get More: Colbert Report Full Episodes,Video Archive

(This clip aired on December 16, 2013. To get suggestions on how to view clips of The Daily Show and The Colbert Report outside the US, please see this earlier post. If the videos autoplay, please see here for a diagnosis and possible solutions.)

3 comments

  1. 1
    wtfwhateverd00d

    While Colbert is funny as always and the programs went overboard, the initial suspicion that Second Life, etc., could be used to hide terrorist discussions in actually pretty reasonable.

    After all, Second Life is based on Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash and in Snow Crash the business discussions held in cyberspace in the form of a group of avatars talking to each other occurred 24×7.

    And in a real world with TOR and steganography it is reasonable for the spy agencies to consider Second Life, et. al., as channels for Al Qaeda and others to communicate across.

    Anecdote: in one of the earliest certified secure operating systems, rates of how quickly the OS would let you open and close files had to be controlled in order to prevent programs in different security rings from communicating with each other via a form of morse code/semaphores/smoke signals.

    Even today there are discussions of systems that communicate with each other through port knocking, merely taking the first step to open an internet connection at some site without ever actually establishing a connection, and using those “knocks” to communicate and leak information.

    The Colbert piece is funny, and derivative of others skits involving pot, drug, and prostitution busts, but at the base of it is a real issue to consider.

  2. 2
    mnb0

    MS, half off topic, but II’m quite sure you want to read this:

    http://www.cracked.com/blog/7-reasons-tsa-sucks-a-security-experts-perspective/

  3. 3
    Rutee Katreya

    While Colbert is funny as always and the programs went overboard, the initial suspicion that Second Life, etc., could be used to hide terrorist discussions in actually pretty reasonable.

    In the sense the internet could be, yes. They didn’t have any rational basis to suspect it was, in fact, being done. What the hell, people?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite="" class=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>