World of Warcraft Users Not Pleased With NSA Spying on Them

“Keeping us safe, one gnome at a time,” writes a Warcraft gamer.

David Bray, 29, from Oxford poses as a Kirin Tor Wizard from World of WarCraft ahead of the MCM London Comic Con Expo at ExCel on October 26, 2012 in London, England.
National Journal
Matt Berman
Dec. 9, 2013, 5:37 a.m.

You can add orcs to the list of things that the Na­tion­al Se­cur­ity Agency is spy­ing on.

Ac­cord­ing to new clas­si­fied doc­u­ments ob­tained by Ed­ward Snowden, NSA agents have entered the on­line realms of World of War­craft, Xbox Live, and Second life. A 2008 NSA doc­u­ment, re­por­ted out by ProP­ub­lica, calls the on­line gam­ing com­munit­ies a “tar­get-rich com­mu­nic­a­tion net­work” which would let pos­sible ter­ror­ists “hide in plain sight.” As has been the case with oth­er leaked NSA docs, these new ones are not without their ex­clam­a­tions. Get­ting agents in on these games is “an op­por­tun­ity!”

What does an NSA agent in World of War­craft look like? What levels are we talk­ing about? Well, as it turns out, there are 120 char­ac­ters in the War­craft realm named Nsa. We’re not say­ing that any of these char­ac­ters are ac­tu­ally NSA agents, but the agency has already shown a pen­chant for the un­cre­at­ive.

So far, it’s un­clear what, if any­thing, the di­git­al sleuth­ing has turned up. But the NSA in­filt­ra­tion has def­in­itely pissed off a whole lot of World of War­craft users.

“Keep­ing us safe, one gnome at a time,” a Hu­man Rogue wrote on a World of War­craft for­um Monday morn­ing. “The NSA are spy­ing be­cause of the Dark­spear Trolls,” writes an Orc War­ri­or. A Night Elf Druid says “It’s a clev­er at­tempt for agents to sit around and play War­craft. That is all.” A Night Elft War­ri­or wishes the spies well: “Good luck agents, on try­ing to get to a high enough level to find all those darn ter­ror­ists that would prob­ably hid­ing [sic] around places in Azeroth you don’t even know ex­ist.”

“This is pathet­ic,” writes a red­dit user on the World of War­craft subred­dit. “They have went [sic] from spy­ing on a su­per power in the cold war to spy­ing on people play­ing an elf in a video game.”

There is, however, one War­craft Nsa char­ac­ter who’s a level 90 Pandar­en Dis­cip­line Priest. So ter­ror­ist plot­ters of Azeroth: You’ve been warned.

{{ BIZOBJ (video: 4615) }}

What We're Following See More »
In Dropout Speech, Santorum Endorses Rubio
1 days ago

As expected after earlier reports on Wednesday, Rick Santorum ended his presidential bid. But less expected: he threw his support to Marco Rubio. After noting he spoke with Rubio the day before for an hour, he said, “Someone who has a real understanding of the threat of ISIS, real understanding of the threat of fundamentalist Islam, and has experience, one of the things I wanted was someone who has experience in this area, and that’s why we decided to support Marco Rubio.” It doesn’t figure to help Rubio much in New Hampshire, but the Santorum nod could pay dividends down the road in southern states.

Rubio, Trump Question Obama’s Mosque Visit
1 days ago

President Obama’s decision to visit a mosque in Baltimore today was never going to be completely uncontroversial. And Donald Trump and Marco Rubio proved it. “Maybe he feels comfortable there,” Trump told interviewer Greta van Susteren on Fox News. “There are a lot of places he can go, and he chose a mosque.” And in New Hampshire, Rubio said of Obama, “Always pitting people against each other. Always. Look at today – he gave a speech at a mosque. Oh, you know, basically implying that America is discriminating against Muslims.”

Cruz Must Max Out on Evangelical Support through Early March
1 days ago

For Ted Cruz, a strong showing in New Hampshire would be nice, but not necessary. That’s because evangelical voters only make up 21% of the Granite State’s population. “But from the February 20 South Carolina primary through March 15, there are nine states (South Carolina, Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Kentucky, Mississippi, and North Carolina) with an estimated white-Evangelical percentage of the GOP electorate over 60 percent, and another four (Texas, Kansas, Louisiana, and Missouri) that come in over 50 percent.” But after that, he better be in the catbird’s seat, because only four smaller states remain with evangelical voter majorities.

Rubio Now Winning the ‘Endorsement Primary’
1 days ago

Since his strong third-place finish in Iowa, Marco Rubio has won endorsement by two sitting senators and two congressmen, putting him in the lead for the first time of FiveThirtyEight‘s Endorsement Tracker. “Some politicians had put early support behind Jeb Bush — he had led [their] list since August — but since January the only new endorsement he has received was from former presidential candidate Sen. Lindsey Graham.” Meanwhile, the New York Times reports that fueled by resentment, “members of the Bush and Christie campaigns have communicated about their mutual desire to halt … Rubio’s rise in the polls.”

Sanders: Obama Is a Progressive
1 days ago

“Do I think President Obama is a progressive? Yeah, I do,” said Bernie Sanders, in response to a direct question in tonight’s debate. “I think they’ve done a great job.” But Hillary Clinton wasn’t content to sit out the latest chapter in the great debate over the definition of progressivism. “In your definition, with you being the gatekeeper of progressivism, I don’t think anyone else fits that definition,” she told Sanders.