« Top 20 PG-Rated Second Life Sims for October 2011 - Most Much Less Popular Than the Top Mature & Adult Regions | Main | DECO's New Mesh Parkas Show How Revolutionary Mesh in Second Life Fashion Can Be »

Tuesday, November 08, 2011


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Ignatius Onomatopoeia

Well, I'll sleep better in my fake bed tonight, knowing that the Bureau is spending its time this way.


The FBI are in second life a girl i no in sl got death treats in sl from multiple individuals in the usa and then one of this gang did some thing else to someones parents in rl any way the police were called and because it went accross borders the FBI were brought in and now one of that gang is in jail doing time. He got caught through a combination of sl skype

Wizard Gynoid

i have it on good authoritay that Georgia moonshiners are using Second Life to smuggle whiskey. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=68_WUILpecg

Can't Say

I personally contacted the FBI as I was being RL threatened by a SL "mafia". They may not be "gangs" but with hacker knowledge they can create havoc in ones life using similar antics that a gang does. There are even videos on youtube of them bullying young people etc. Just because you don't see it happen in 2L doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

Adeon Writer

Gotta watch them gangster furry vampire fashion models.

Ziki Questi

According to what you posted, the FBI didn't say that Second Life is a "likely haven for real life gangs"; they said "gang members could potentially use Second Life." Geez. (Not to say that your overall message isn't on the mark.)

Isabeal Jupiter

I think that the FBI was mostly acknowledging the potential for gangs to use virtual worlds. This probably reflects their own consideration of using virtual worlds in law enforcement training. I just learned yesterday, for example, that virtual worlds are being used as training in forensics and crime scene analysis at Boston U. If law enforcement can use virtual worlds, why couldn't gangs?

Isabeal Jupiter

I meant Boston College: http://idesweb.bc.edu/forensicslab/

Hamlet Au

"they said 'gang members could potentially use Second Life.'"

Yes, but the very fact they devoted so much space to SL implies they think it's a likely possibility. Especially when they devote so little space to more plausible platforms like Twitter.

Ziki Questi

Yes, obviously they're out in space if they're devoting more time to Second Life than Twitter.


FBI needs to get all their employees back on their medication.


Everything with a use can be misused. Those five reasons you gave can just as well be five reasons Second Life is valuable because it seems inconspicuous.

But I'm with you 100%. I just don't see it.

Wilhelmina Hinchcliffe

"...commit other crimes such as drug trafficking..."

Wait, wait, wait. I'll admit that I haven't really looked at the new version 3 viewer, but has LL really added an "Upload Doobie" option?

Switching to semi-serious mode, I'll grant that SL can be used for communication but somehow I don't think that a resource heavy graphical client like SL is nimble enough to replace cell phones, SMS, VOIP - or my current personal favorite, a VOIP app for my iPhone.

Of course there are things like MetaBolt but that's still a far cry from the built in capabilities of just about any smartphone, to say nothing of the things that can be easily added.

Me thinks that someone at the FBI simply wants to keep an eye on their Meeros on the tax payer's dime :)

Shug Maitland

I will be on the look out for J. Edgar avies!


Thank you, Hamlet, for pointing out that only about 25% of the userbase is in the US. Now even the CIA will get interested and i will have to close down my al quika training camp sim. Set it on the death watch list ...

Arcadia Codesmith

While the majority of gang members may be relatively young and unsophisticated, the people who arm, protect, fund and profit hugely from their activities are not.

We're not talking Sharks and Jets. We're talking about the distribution and marketing arm of increasingly complex multinational enterprises. This is the free market at its most unregulated.

And while I doubt that Second Life would ever be a primary channel of operations, it could be one part of a strategy to move modest amounts of money through a great many different virtual worlds, beneath the threshold that would flag such activity as suspicious.

And SL does have some steep hardware and learning curve challenges... if you want to explore the virtual world. If all you want to do is log in an anonymous noob from a masked IP, pay a few other anonymous noobs modest sums of Lindens, and log out again, you can run it on a junk box with no training at all.

foneco zuzu

I don't care about what a Usa agency can think about!
But i know for sure that My Country similar agency, has a surveillance group that watches not only on Sl but all cyberspace for criminal activity, but pedophilia mostly!

foneco zuzu

Wonder if its part of a campaign to try to close a place where freedom and anonymity still prevail or just to make SL spoken off on media!

shockwave yareach

They'll find nothing of interest. As a money laundering outfit, it sucks. As a recruiting tool, it sucks worse (in a place where you cannot get more than 50 people together anyplace). As a media outlet to spread whatever message, it's a) worthless because so few will see, and b) the TOS prohibits that in the first place.

But go ahead; make sure there are no terrorist Meeros hiding beneath every virtual rock, ready to blow up the pentagon, put it back together on their parcel, and blow it up again.

tito devinna

Any gang worth a squirt isnt going to set up shop in sl. Everyone who is anyone in the gang world knows you play the Sims or yo ville for that.

Seymore Steamweaver

Well it all depends really. Are gangs apt to go in for the long con?

Obviously there's no way to shake someone down to make them pay up, but just like in real life, be nice enough to someone to get them to trust you over time and you can really do some damage to their life and bank account.

Ananda Sandgrain

When I looked over the report, I didn't see much evidence that they devoted a lot of time to thinking about Second Life for this report. What they did do, I think, is cut and paste their conclusions from the time the FBI and Linden Lab worked together a few years ago on whether the gambling and banking activities in SL were illegal.

Jumpman Lane

Terrorists are more likely to use second life than gang members! I doubt any noob FBI agent would devote the time necessary for denoobification to make any inroads by going in world undercover. They are more likely having Linden Lab hand over voluminous chat logs and making some sap-rookie slog through the sludge of "woots" and "tp mes" and "rebake" and "boy ain't it laggy here's" oh and "Lols"


@Jumpman Lane

I'm still not fully convinced about Terrorists using Second Life even when the US congress or what ever Philip went to complained about it's possible clandestine uses.

But I did read that Terrorists tend to embed codes in pictures and I believe there was some ruckus about them putting it in child pron to get it widely circulated so it would be easy to pick up indirectly from multiple sources.

As a direct source to source / avatar to avatar transfer would be obvious for which files to check should someone get caught on either end vs being buried in thousands of disgusting images the FBI would have to go through and likely make cases on tracing each and every child exploited, which of course drains resources and distracts from finding upto date encoded messages.

I'm being serious and my point of perspective is coincidental to yours and what you do inSL and is no way me saying you're up to no good in any context, this is just a reply :P

But anyway it all reminds me of how the emerald devils (devs) tagged avatars on the baked layers, and makes me think if they was serious about using Second Life to swap secret information it'd be in the uploaded images or baked layers that only specific clients can read.

And so that whole having someone check for "rebake" requests in chat is not such a far fetched idea as perhaps each rebake would transfer the coded messages to another client that would print it out as text for them under the noses of Linden Lab and anyone snooping.

As encrypted chat would be a dead give away if someone was tapping their internet service, you'd want it to look natural.

Or a real Terrorist would likely put out freebies or copy exploited items or build widely used avatars that could be picked up indirectly from multiple sources with encoded images/textures, but the easy thing seems to be the code baked onto avatars (temp upload) that emerald gate alerted us to.

/Me thinks Mr Emerald gate might be able to get a job or taken into custody "for a consultation" without donuts, if the FBI ever go past the joke stage of thinking this through and dig in Google and Second Lifes history.


Oh and that's why the JLU are stupid and just like script kiddies flying around Second Life like kids scan websites online with pathetic scripts poking for holes, they should never be taken serious as a first line defense or competent and capable of providing a service to residents, the FBI, Linden Lab, or Prokofy Neva.

Because anyone with any sense and who needed to avoid Linden Labs gaze (tos) would have done what emerald gate demonstrated was an easy way to transfer secret information, aka get around the TOS, you don't get around the TOS by using lsl scripts you always get caught as it's running on their servers.

Or a competent group would network their own custom clients and not use Linden Labs scripting language that really, really is a dead give away when anyone looks at what recent information was transferred onto and out of their service regardless of crappy lsl encryption..

Noobs use lsl scrips, Professionals use code by making viewers & bot clients to do specific tasks and to off load the risk.


Gangs of SL?

I sense a movie, starring Leonardo DeCaprio.

Or more realistically, Efren Ramirez and Jon Heder from Napoleon Dynamite.

Didn't the FBI get the memo from SL's founder? We're all just a bunch of cripples, hicks, and social retards. Nobody cool enough around here to be a gang-banger... O.o


The International criminal orgizination known as "The Hells Angels" are quite active in Second Life. To be serious for a moment, Second life is a GREAT TOOL for laundering money.


Actually Second Life is used quite alot by organized crime to launder $. It is actually quite easy to do so with a few Free hotmail accounts, a few free Paypal accounts and chequing accounts in countries that have liberal banking laws. armed with thoes few free tools, any criminal orgazination can convert $usd into Linden Dollars ($L) buy and sell fake land a few dozen times, and then convert the $L inot $USD again and cash it out to a paypal account.... do that a few thousand times a day with Bots or scripted agents and BANG, virtual Laundry machine.

Linden Lab does not keep records of resident to Resident transactions for more then 30 days. After that time all transaction history is deleted. Hell even linden Lab's Financial Dept is located in The City of London, The financial crime capitol of the world.

I for one am glad the FBI has woken up to this

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)

Making a Metaverse That Matters Wagner James Au ad
Please buy my book!
Thumb Wagner James Au Metaverse book
Wagner James "Hamlet" Au
Wagner James Au Patreon
Equimake 3D virtual world web real time creation
Bad-Unicorn SL builds holdables HUD
Dutchie Evergreen Slideshow 2024
Juicybomb_EEP ad
My book on Goodreads!
Wagner James Au AAE Speakers Metaverse
Request me as a speaker!
Making of Second Life 20th anniversary Wagner James Au Thumb
PC for SL
Recommended PC for SL
Macbook Second Life
Recommended Mac for SL

Classic New World Notes stories:

Woman With Parkinson's Reports Significant Physical Recovery After Using Second Life - Academics Researching (2013)

We're Not Ready For An Era Where People Prefer Virtual Experiences To Real Ones -- But That Era Seems To Be Here (2012)

Sander's Villa: The Man Who Gave His Father A Second Life (2011)

What Rebecca Learned By Being A Second Life Man (2010)

Charles Bristol's Metaverse Blues: 87 Year Old Bluesman Becomes Avatar-Based Musician In Second Life (2009)

Linden Limit Libertarianism: Metaverse community management illustrates the problems with laissez faire governance (2008)

The Husband That Eshi Made: Metaverse artist, grieving for her dead husband, recreates him as an avatar (2008)

Labor Union Protesters Converge On IBM's Metaverse Campus: Leaders Claim Success, 1850 Total Attendees (Including Giant Banana & Talking Triangle) (2007)

All About My Avatar: The story behind amazing strange avatars (2007)

Fighting the Front: When fascists open an HQ in Second Life, chaos and exploding pigs ensue (2007)

Copying a Controversy: Copyright concerns come to the Metaverse via... the CopyBot! (2006)

The Penguin & the Zookeeper: Just another unlikely friendship formed in The Metaverse (2006)

"—And He Rezzed a Crooked House—": Mathematician makes a tesseract in the Metaverse — watch the videos! (2006)

Guarding Darfur: Virtual super heroes rally to protect a real world activist site (2006)

The Skin You're In: How virtual world avatar options expose real world racism (2006)

Making Love: When virtual sex gets real (2005)

Watching the Detectives: How to honeytrap a cheater in the Metaverse (2005)

The Freeform Identity of Eboni Khan: First-hand account of the Black user experience in virtual worlds (2005)

Man on Man and Woman on Woman: Just another gender-bending avatar love story, with a twist (2005)

The Nine Souls of Wilde Cunningham: A collective of severely disabled people share the same avatar (2004)

Falling for Eddie: Two shy artists divided by an ocean literally create a new life for each other (2004)

War of the Jessie Wall: Battle over virtual borders -- and real war in Iraq (2003)

Home for the Homeless: Creating a virtual mansion despite the most challenging circumstances (2003)

Newstex_Author_Badge-Color 240px
JuicyBomb_NWN5 SL blog
Ava Delaney SL Blog
my site ... ... ...