Monday, December 9, 2013

The Spies Among Us

Seems that when an Pakistani nuclear scientist, a Venezuelan embassy driver or a senior member of Iran’s republican guard knock off for the day they, like many of us, are in the mood for a bit cartoon mayhem.

Beware, my children, for there are spies (or at least high value Sigint targets) among us.  And where those targets go, the British and American intelligence community follows.   

The tone of the article is a bit mocking; sort of a sneer that the NSA is using tax-payer dollars to hunt for spies in MMPORGs.  I can, of course, understand the humor angle here: The image of a bunch of mouth breathing NSA interns logging on to WOW in order to hunt down enemies of the state among wood elves and goblins is… intriguing.  I can’t tell if it’s comedy or drama. Maybe both.  It’s like someone has announced new entry in the FX Spring series line-up. Sort of, Homeland’s Carrie Mathison and Big Bang Theory’s Sheldon Cooper as real world spooks stalking each other through Second Life.  

Still, can you really blame them?  I mean, if it was found out that an international conspiracy was successfully launched against the developing world from an MMPORG, there'd be hell to pay. Just imagine the hearings on Capital Hill. Our spymasters would be slow-roasted in public for allowing our enemies the MMPORG high-ground. Congress would be all: "Help me understand, Director Brennan. Why wasn't America logged in with special-ops dark elves to prevent this debacle?" 

Sigh. Damned if you do and damned if you don’t, it seems.

EVE Online isn’t named in the article, which surprises me. I would have thought that EVE would be hip-deep in spies of every stripe. Heaven knows we’ve got the digital analog of them down cold. And EVE, to my mind, draws a more worldly and nefarious crowd than other MMPORGs.   

Then again, spies, turncoats and masters of international intrigue may find it difficult to relax by playing EVE at the end of a long day of deception. Time among us might a little too much like their day jobs.     


  1. Now you know why we can't have walking in stations. /tinfoil

    Here's a paper from 2010 you might find interesting. "Money laundering using virtual worlds, Bitcoin on watchdog's radar"

    That's right, leave it to me to come up with the RMT angle to the story :-p

  2. Bah. The NSA is afraid that for every spy they get into EVE alliances, EVE players will get three into the NSA.

    I tell you, they're scared of having their entire budget disappear or looking into the hangar to discover that all their drones have been stolen.