Thursday, February 7, 2008

Second Life Den Of Terrorism?

It's a foregone conclusion that "security types" have always had a bit of a love/hate relationship with computers. Certainly computer power has allowed outfits like the NSA to make sense of billions and billions of monitored phone calls zinging around the world. But it also seems like computer networks also make them very, very paranoid.

The latest is that some new outfit called Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity has gotten it in their heads that Second Life may be a den of terrorist activity.

You have GOT to be kidding.

I mean - I suppose it's possible.

There are ways to move real money around in Second Life.

Some of the people who hang out on there quite a bit more than I do tell me there was a pretty bad gambling issue going on until recently, so most of the users have moved away from that into gratuitous avatar sex.

Remind Renegade Evolution to do a post on Second Life porn while I'm thinking about it ... :)

But ... give me a break.

Do you have any idea what KINDS of people hang out in Second Life?

Well, first you ahve a certain bald, Jewish Vulcan in a Deep Space Nine uniform. :)

Then you have whole throngs of überfrum Lubavicher rabbis who have to fight off anti-semites while teaching Torah.

THEN you have a group of nuts who like to have their avatars jumping all over each other whilst in the guise of Japanese "Hentai" characters. This den of iniquity is guarded by a half-man half-dragon that looks like Sardo Numspa from The Golden Child BTW.

Let's not even talk about some of the users who use ANIMALS as avatars. They call them "furries".

There IS a fair amount of real money floating around Second Life, most of it, so near as I can tell, going towards "anatomically correct" additions to avatars.

This paper from IARPA says, "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."

Oh give me a break.

I suppose it's possible, but I think most of the people on there are way too busy finding ways to get virtually laid to be bothered with Islamist terrorists ...

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