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PlayStation 4 Chat Linked to ISIS?
If you believed several news agencies, the beloved PlayStation 4 is now being used by terrorists to exchange information.
This all seems to trace back to a comment made by a politician BEFORE the November 2015 attacks by Isis. Jan Jambon, from Belgium, was taking about how groups like ISIS do online recruitment. He said:
"PlayStation 4 is even more difficult to keep track of than WhatsApp. It's very, very difficult for our services—not only Belgian services but international services—to decrypt the communication that is done via PlayStation 4."
That's it. It's a generic statement about how challenging it can be for intelligence agencies to keep up with the myriad of ways groups can talk with each other. From Twitter to Flickr to Instagram, from PS4 to XBox to Wii, there are just all sorts of email, chat, and messaging networks out there. How do you keep an eye on them all? How do you know when a conversation is serious?
There doesn't appear to be any confirmation by anyone at all that terrorists WERE using the PS4 (or any gaming system, for that matter) to engage in beneath-the-radar conversations.
Do some terrorists play with PS4s? Undoubtedly they do, just as I imagine some terrorists play Candy Crush. Terrorists do all sorts of things. That doesn't mean the PS4, a SmartPhone, or any other device is necessarily better or worse than any other. The real issue is that these groups exist, not the specific type of hardware or software they're using at any given moment.
In the end, if we're going to be able to keep an eye on potential terrorist chatter, gamers might have to accept that government agencies might listen in to their trash-talking and other conversations via any game system. If they're not comfortable with that, well, there's always backgammon and cribbage in person. That's about the only way to avoid the issue in our modern time.
Our thoughts go out to all people impacted by the terrorist strikes and the resulting chaos caused in so many locations.
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