Tuesday, August 07, 2007


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Erbo Evans

I asked Dr. Gunaratna what Second Life Residents should do, if they suspect another user is a real life Jihadist.

"Inform government," was his terse reply, "so that he can be monitored."

You mean I can't orbit him? Repeatedly? :-)

Drown Pharoah

Some questions regarding Dr. Rohan Gunaratna's credentials:


I'm Muslim. A few months ago, some idiot visited my parcel who had founded a group supporting Osama Bin Laden. I immediately lodged a complaint with the Lindens and I gather the group was subsequently banned.

I think I can speak for ALL Muslims in SL in stating that, should we become aware of terrorists operating in SL, we would contact the Lindens immediately.

Tyffany Flintoff

I'm with you Erbo. Repeat orbit.

I doubt they'd be smart enough to sit.


Sorry. Sounds to me like Gunaratna is an opportunist hopping on the bandwagon to ride whatever is left of the current SL media wave. The only thing he might say that would get my attention is that the MILF is hooking up with a bunch of griefers... but I figure the SLH will carry that story.

Are malcontents in SL? Of course.

Are we *all* being monitored? Probably.

Are a few extremists logging into SL a concern to me? No. If anything, I'd rather they spent time in SL than building training mods... hosted on private servers... using more capable applications like Half-Life 2. An Al Qaeda version of "America's Army" is a greater threat imo than SL at this stage development.

Laetizia Coronet

Al-Qa'ida-affiliate networks do indeed operate largely online, and they will look for every nook and cranny to pass information. Another critically acclaimed book, The Secret History of al-Qa'ida by Abdel Bari Atwan, which I had the pleasure to translate into Dutch, also makes this abundantly clear.
Whether or not that should worry us depends on the way we look at SL. Those who believe it to be a whole new world might lose sleep over it. Those who see it as just another communication channel (as I would bet the salafi-jihadi types do) need not worry more than they worry about the use of the phone network, the internet or e-mail by both decent citizens and potential terrorists alike.

Soen Eber

There have been 4 or 5 articles along this vein, all from Murdoch's NewsCorp newspapers. In the Australian piece, at least one of the sources was quoted without permission (this was discussed in metasecurity.net) and subsequent articles have been roundly riffed in places like information week and slash dot. It is my personal belief that Murdoch's newspapers are campaigning against SL, for reasons yet to be determined - perhaps he has an interest in virtual worlds (possible given his recent acquisition of facebook). Certainly SL has shown itself to not be very corporate friendly, and user-driven content competes against corporate content.


Ooooooooooookay, so from now on we will spend valuable FBI resources tracking "terrorists" in World of Warcraft. Al-Qaeda are probably close allies with the Orcs.


I can't imagine why SL would be a useful training or communications medium for a terrorist organization. The physic engine is not robust enough for simulations. Communications are logged in SL servers, avatars are pretty easily tracked, and sims are hard to secure from prying eyes.

No, they are much more likely to be using custom software, darknets, usenet and other more anonymizing communications media. Or Club Penguin.

Economic Mip

Normally I would be with the "no real terrorists in Second Life" bandwagon, but um there was the Anonymous threat to blow up 7 sports stadiums (and they are just as big in Second Life as elsewhere). Oh and the SLLA of course, despite their head being in charge of Concentric Security.

Alberik Rotaru

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation, of ABC Island fame, ran an equally overwrought piece (audio only) this morning.

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