US plan to hack into games consoles

Posted on April 9, 2012


The console of your PlayStation, Xbox or Wii is set to be the next frontier of intelligence gathering, writes Michael Peck, gaming editor at Foreign Policy magazine.

Recent years have brought reports of the US government eavesdropping on phone conversations, emails, even tweets – all in the name of fighting terrorism. But surely your Xbox must be safe from the prying eyes of Big Brother?

Not for long. You might not immediately think that slaying dragons or driving like a maniac through virtual streets is all that interesting to intelligence agents, but the US government believes there might be law-enforcement gold on your Xbox.

Government researchers say that hacking into consoles will allow police to catch paedophiles and terrorists. Meanwhile, privacy advocates worry that gamers may leave sensitive data – and not just credit card information – on their Nintendos without knowing it.

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