Wired: National intelligence seeking terrorists in WoW


The average World of Warcraft player has a number of annoyances to deal with during his day-to-day exploits in Azeroth -- gold farmers, gold sellers, ninja-looters, and overzealous paladins, to name a few. Unfortunately for subscribers, another soon-to-be-unpopular community is about to hit Blizzard's servers: Big Brother (that is to say, government intelligence agencies, not the reality TV show).

Wired reports that U.S. intelligence is planning on developing a data mining program using World of Warcraft that will help root out violent extremists that play MMOs. The ultimate goal of the "Reynard project" is to develop software that is capable of "automatically detecting suspicious behavior and actions in the virtual world." On one hand, we can see why they'd want to keep an eye on a community that's 10 million strong (fun fact -- there's 142 countries with a smaller population than WoW). On the other, we're not sure we want The Man looking over our shoulder every time we craft a Big Iron Bomb.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.