Spying on your activities in Virtual Worlds unconstitutional

Counter-terrorismEvery now and again stories about Second Life and other Virtual Worlds being a breeding ground for terrorism come around. The latest that we've covered here was about profiling in MMOGs in late February. Now, according to Worlds in Motion.biz Professor Juan Cole, President of the Global Americana Institute has commented that this is unfeasible and unconstitutional, since it denies freedom of speech. You can read the WIM article and Professor Cole's original article.

Professor Cole, unlike many of these people, has actually spent time in Second Life, and considered how usable it would be as a breeding ground and training ground for terrorists. His conclusion is stated in political terms, but can be summed up as it's a paranoid fantasy, a tool of FUD to try and get internet monitoring pushed through the legislation despite it being unconstitutional. Most people I know consider the use of SL for education and training in many skills as excellent, but by and large regard it as a poor place for teaching "physical" skills (sports for example, and bomb building and assaults on buildings). They tend to regard the prospect of training terrorists in Second Life as risible. However, these people do read a lot, and they managed to include a link to the original discussion document that has spawned many of these more and more paranoid stories.

This article was originally published on Massively.