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Criminal profiling is coming to a MMOG near you

Matt Warner

With an uprising of terrorists and other criminals playing MMOGs like Hello Kitty the U.S. Government believes it is essential that Gnomeland Security monitors online behavior in virtual worlds. Humor aside, I'm not making this up.

The U.S. intelligence community wants to employ counter terrorism measures by utilizing data-mining and profiling software in various online spaces such as video and even online gaming. In the unclassified Data Mining Report Act, (pdf) one initiative called the Reynard project would determine the feasibility of detecting suspicious behaviors and actions in a virtual world that could indicate a threat to national security. You read that right.

"Reynard is a seedling effort to study the emerging phenomenon of social (particularly terrorist) dynamics in virtual worlds and large-scale online games and their implications for the Intelligence Community."

"The cultural and behavioral norms of virtual worlds and gaming are generally unstudied. Therefore, Reynard will seek to identify the emerging social, behavioral and cultural norms in virtual worlds and gaming environments. The project would then apply the lessons learned to determine the feasibility of automatically detecting suspicious behavior and actions in the virtual world."

This is probably a good time to stop referring to my spells as WMDs, and reciting The Communist Manifesto in guild chat. I don't want to end up in a secret prison somewhere drinking a lot of water because I'm obsessed with engineering and PvP. What the CIA should do is recruit top ranked WoW Arena players to infiltrate the Chinese servers to steal gold farming secrets.

[via Wired]

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