Monday, August 6, 2007

Virtual terrorists in Second Life ?

I was reading the newspaper this morning, when I suddenly saw an article about Second Life, referring to the Sunday Times.

“Islamic militants are suspected of using Second Life, the internet virtual world, to hunt for recruits and mimic real-life terrorism.
Police and the intelligence services are concerned that it may have been infiltrated by extremists to proselytize, communicate and transfer money to one another. Radicals may also be responsible for “virtual” terrorist attacks in which buildings depicted on the website are blown up.
Kevin Zuccato, head of the Australian government’s High Tech Crime Centre, said jihadists may also be using the virtual reality world to master skills such as reconnaissance and surveillance. “We need to start thinking about living, working and protecting two worlds and two realities,” he told a security industry conference in Sydney. “

So now the media have found another story to shock the world with Second Life.

The particular concern should go about the anonymity of Second Life members who can use false names for their digital personas, known as avatars, to disguise their real identity and provide false contact details in the real world. Some radicals, had given themselves “innocuous” titles, while others had provocative jihadist names such as Irhabi007 (Arabic for Terrorist007).

Recently, inhabitants of the virtual world have experienced a more sinister phenomenon - virtual terrorist attacks against buildings and avatars. A recent attack took place at the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s Second Life base. A number of these attacks, known as “griefings”, have been launched by what industry insiders say are “geeky teenagers” giving themselves names such as the Second Life Liberation Army.

So now some experts are thinking that these attacks may have been committed by real Islamic radicals.

Also according the text, Linden is not aware of any exchange of money by jihadists, but could not rule out the possibility. They, Linden lab, are unaware of any extremists using Second Life.

Did you expect something else?

So now, after the sex scandals, the child role play’s, now this?

Is this just another story, or should we really be concerned?


Dalien said...

Contrary to what the press says, I am convinced the attacks were launched by christian ultra-orthodoxs.

[serious mode on]

As the people become bored with seeing all the witch hunt in the RL, the interested parties seem to find a new and fresh playground. So yes, it's very probable that we are going to see some more interesting things....

Looker Lumet said...

Dalien, I hope you are wrong. I like to think that Second Life is a "playground", far away from first life, but that will be an utopia.

Veronique Kaminski said...

damn.. I hung out a couple of times with some people at the SLLA hideout.. so now the australians uncovered my real agenda..

High time I shave my RL beard and get rid of these boxes of semtex..

So, if you guys dont hear of me in the next couple of months, thats probably because there is no IP in Guantanamo...


Yes, this IS getting really ridiculous.. but the problem is: as long as the sensationmongers at the regular media only report about SL via this kind of articles, the bulk of newbies that arrive WILL be people looking for this kind of stuff (be it SLex, easy money, violence...)
Its like a perpetuum mobile, a self-fullfilling prophecy..

I somewhere suspect that the regular media are afraid of SL... people who are in-world dont watch TV.. so down go the viewer ratings, and the income via commercials..
Should that be the reason of all this negative coverage???

Looker Lumet said...

I knew it, I knew it. I have always known it, Veronique.:))
Have to dig out that picture from Hoboken again.;)

Veronique Kaminski said...

yes, I admit it... I am the brain behind the led poisoning over there..