“Unfortunately, what started out as a benign environment where people would congregate to share information or explore fantasy worlds is now offering the opportunity for religious/political extremists to recruit, rehearse, transfer money, and ultimately engage in information warfare or worse with impunity.”
The government’s growing concern seems likely to make virtual worlds the next battlefield in the struggle over the proper limits on the government’s quest to improve security through data collection and analysis and the surveillance of commercial computer systems.
Virtual worlds could also become an actual battlefield. The intelligence community has begun contemplating how to use Second Life and other such communities as platforms for cyber weapons that could be used against terrorists or enemies, intelligence officials said. One analyst suggested beginning tests with so-called teams of cyber warfare experts.
“Intelligence community” — now more an oxymoron than ever.