Watch Out for the Terrorists in Your MMO

Illustration for article titled Watch Out for the Terrorists in Your MMO

A researcher at the National Defense University in the U.S. is convinced that the terrorists could be hatching their next plot in World of Warcraft or Second Life. Danger Room's Noah Shachtman reports that Dwight Toavs gave a paper last week that argued, among other things, that terrorists could discuss plans to sack Washington right out in the open in an MMO, by simply pretending that they were planning to sack a fictional town on a server. Apparently Toavs and his colleagues were a little unclear on MMOs, however. Writes Shachtman:

The fictional plot [where terrorists use an MMO to plan attacks] was originally developed by Dan Arey, for the Director of National Intelligence's Summer Hard Problems workshop, or SHARP. And its details are a little fuzzy. The terminology doesn't match World of Warcraft lingo, all that precisely. There is no "White Keep" in World of Warcraft; "Dragon Fire" is a spell in EverQuest, the old-school role-playing game, not WoW.


True enough. But what about the simple point that terrorists of the sort the US government is concerned about could probably just meet in person to plan this stuff. Or use cell phones. Or hotmail, which is what the attackers used on 9/11. Researcher Conjures World of Warcraft Terror Plot [via Danger Room]

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I think the basic premise is foolish ... such chats are broadcast on the WOW-MMO for all to see, and if some pack of tare-ists started plothatching on the general, trade or guild chats, it would be picked up on pretty dang quickly, methinks.

I agree with twDarkflame, we should instead ban all human transmission of ideas because sometimes scary people talk to each other.