Game developer Splash Damage has renamed its upcoming free-to-play online shooter Extraction to Dirty Bomb. The game was originally called Dirty Bomb but the company changed the name because of the sensitivities surrounding terrorist attacks in the UK. The game was renamed Extraction in August 2013, but Nexon said in a release today that Dirty Bomb better fits the game's "unique personality."
An affidavit by an FBI undercover agent details how California State Senator Leland Yee (and a group he regularly used) allegedly supplied arms to, among others, Muslim rebels in the Philippines. The Philippines government has been in a long running war with rebels, who want to turn Mindanao into an Islamic state.
The great debate about the fate of the former NSA contractor who leaked documents detailing the agency's spying programs on the Internet, mobile phones and even in video games rages on. Some believe that Edward Snowden is a patriot and a whistleblower who deserves a full presidential pardon, while others believe that he should be get the maximum penalty under the law for treason and espionage.
Back in June of this year we reported on the plight of 19-year-old Texan Justin Carter, who was arrested back in March for making a terrorist threat online. The incident happened in February of this year. Justin Carter was either playing League of Legends or engaging in a forum conversation when another player wrote a comment calling him insane.
At a meeting with President Barack Obama and Vice-President Joe Biden yesterday, executives from America's top technology companies urged the administration to reform the National Security Agency spying programs because they are "damaging their reputations" abroad and could ultimately "harm the broader economy."
President Barack Obama will soon choose members of a panel that will "independently review" the National Security Agency's surveillance policies. The President announced the plan to form such a committee earlier this month at a press conference, and promised that it would be comprised of "high level group of outside experts." But early indications of his possible picks for this committee show that some of the choices are anything but outsiders. In fact, several have worked in past administrations, and at least one worked in two administrations.
Update: Politico is reporting that the White House knew that David Miranda would be stopped at London's Heathrow Airport before it happened, but it also denied any involvement in the incident.
"This is a decision that they made on their own and not at the request of the United States," White House principal deputy press secretary Josh Earnest said.
Last week Microsoft asked the Justice Department for permission to release information to the general public about its participation in government controlled surveillance programs, but the DOJ would not allow it. According to CNet, Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith sent a letter on Tuesday to the Obama administration asking for permission to reveal details about how it responds to orders from the U.S. government for private user data.
Several advocacy groups have banded together for a 100 city protest called Restore the Fourth on July 4. The day-long protest is described by organizers as a "grassroots campaign designed to raise discussion in Congress about the rules and regulations of the Fourth Amendment." Specifically, the protest focuses on some of the laws and activities being used in the name of fighting terrorism.
The father of Justin Carter, the 19-year-old League of Legends player that now faces up to eight years in prison for threatening Facebook comments, says that the whole thing was meant as a joke. Today on CNN the father of the Texas teen - Jack Carter - said that his son was scared, depressed, and concerned that he may never get out of jail.
"He’s very depressed, he’s very scared...and he’s very concerned he’s not going to get out. He’s pretty much lost all hope," Jack Carter told CNN in an interview this morning.
According to the conservative political web site The Daily Caller, a Texas teen who made a joke while playing League of Legends (the story isn't too clear on whether he made the comments during an in-game chat or in the official LoL forums), was arrested back in March on charges of making a terrorist threat.
Earlier this month we told you about a Capcom UK PR event to promote Resident Evil: Revelations in London. The event, which would let visitors swim in a pool filled with simulated blood, gore, and body parts (and featured zombies as lifeguards), was scheduled for this weekend.
If you own a smart phone, an Android or iOS-based device or even a hand-held gaming system or a laptop, you no longer have to worry about having the device searched by a border patrol officer when entering the United States without some sort of reasonable cause. The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has ruled that allowing border agents to search such devices violates Fourth Amendment protections.
A new game created by people that could best be described as pro al-Qaeda and wholeheartedly against the West have developed a game riddled with propaganda called Islamic Mali. The game lets players engage in aerial dogfights in the name of al-Qaeda against French forces. The game is fairly straightforward, simple and is played in top-down perspective.
The Taliban apparently doesn't like England's Prince Harry. Big shock there, right? But the group accused of various attacks against U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan and other activities in Pakistan says that Prince Harry has a mental illness. Prince Harry returned from a four-month deployment in Afghanistan Monday, and has been conducting a series of interviews with the British press.
The United States Congress may be a mess and the most unruly and uncompromising bunch in the land but they all apparently think that the UN should not be setting policy on the Internet. To that end, members of the House of Representatives - Democrats and Republicans - voted unanimously (397-0) against the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) and the United Nations' efforts to push "increased government control over the Internet."
Three men have been arrested for their part in bombing a home in New Jersey, but the most bizarre thing about the case is a vague connection to a "video game community." What video game community? We do not know, nor does the New York CBS station that published the story or the victimized family who made the comment.
It didn't take long for one misinformed and overzealous lawmaker to help get a poor developer's app removed from Apple's store. The app in question, " Driver License," allowed users to create a mock driver's license to entertain and amuse friends. But Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) didn't see the fun in it, and was concerned that it could be used to create a license. Apparently the Senator believed that this program was so sophisticated that a terrorist could download the app and make a fake ID on the fly for some nefarious purpose.
Modders and creative types are having fun mocking the death of Osama bin Laden at the hands of an elite U.S. Navy Seals, but one of the best pieces of video game-related comedy on the subject comes from a French television show that uses Super Mario Bros. as the backdrop. Instead of Mario and Bowser, the animation features former U.S. President George W. Bush chasing down Osama in various stages until the 2008 election where Obama takes over. Check out the video to your left to watch the hijinx.
A recent release of Wikileaks documents relating to Guantanamo Bay and its prisoners reveals a video-game related Al Qaeda terrorist plot involving a Sega Genesis cartridge. The Detainee Assessment record for Khalid Shaikh Mohammed put together by the Department of Defense details various operations to strike at the U.S. and its allies around the world, like assassination plots against former U.S. President Bill Clinton and Pope John Paul II, plans to detonate explosive-laden ships crossing the Panama Canal - similar to what Al Qaeda did in Yemen, and attacks on London's Heathrow Airport.
The Detainee Assessment record mentions an odd strategy involving Sega game cartridges:
"Detainee discussed remote-controlled firing devices (RCFDS) which were found during raids in Karachi in September 2002. These RCFDS were built inside black Sega videogame cassette cartridges to protect the RCFDS and to make them appear innocuous."
The FBI has raided the apartment of two University of Michigan students to investigate what it has called "potentially fraudulent sales or purchases of virtual currency that people use to advance in the popular online role-playing game World of Warcraft." The story comes from Computer World. The FBI thinks the two students are terrorists who are doing "something" in World of Warcraft to further some sort of terrorist plot. It's hard to say what exactly they suspect from the two within Blizzard's virtual world, but they obviously aren't going on a hunch here.
A Saudi national who was arrested for plotting to "blow up" former President George W. Bush's Texas home and other targets in America has been connected ever so slightly to violent video games - particularly the Resident Evil series from Capcom. The 20-year-old chemical engineering student at Lubbock's South Plains College, described by authorities as a "jihadist" plead not guilty to charges last Wednesday in a Texas federal court. The charge was attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction. According to an affidavit in the Northern District of Texas, Aldawarsi, who was came to the US in 2008 on a student visa, had allegedly researched how to make a chemical-based, improvised explosive device (IED) online.
The New York Post reports that enjoyed watching game videos from five titles in the Resident Evil series on YouTube - information the paper found while sifting through his blog.
Dr. Walid Phares, the security expert cited by Russia Today in its report on Modern Warfare 2 and a recent Russian airport suicide bombing, has penned an editorial telling his side of the story.
The overall theme of his editorial is at least positive to video game proponents: video games do not create terrorists, Jihadi ideology does.
First he tackles the tenuous link that Russia Today tried to make between the bombing and the "No Russian" scene in Modern Warfare 2:
Two alleged young terrorists arrested over the past two weeks were described as "gamers" in various news reports, though that portrayal seems to be more of an attempt to paint them as “normal” rather than an effort to cast dispersion on gamers.
In a New York Post story on the arrest of 21-year old Abdel Hameed Shehadeh, the Staten Islander, who was busted in Hawaii by U.S. marshals for making false statements, was described by a former landlord as a typical “all-American kid” who liked sports and was a “video-game fan.”
Shehadeh had been on the radar of authorities since attempting to get to Pakistan on a one-way ticket in 2008. It was reported that Shehadeh was hoping to make his way to Dubai from Hawaii, and then get to Somalia. He was thwarted due to his name being placed on the no-fly list.
An interesting article on the Times of India website details a series of games based on the 2008 Mumbai, India terrorist attack and goes into why, perhaps, people are drawn to play them.
The columnist writes that, “In India, the Mumbai terror attack has caught game developers' fancy in a big way,” before referencing a pair of games based on the tragedy.
In the event a cyber attack cripples the World Wide Web, seven members of a “chain of trust” have been given the responsibility of restarting the Internet, with each individual armed with a key.
The key holders include one member from each of the following countries: Britain, the U.S., Trinidad and Tobago, Canada, China, Burkina Faso and the Czech Republic.
According to PopSci.com, five of the seven would need to gather at a U.S. base with their keys in order to restart the Internet.
PopSci further described the keys:
The keys are actually smartcards that each contain parts of the DNSSEC root key, which could be thought of as the master key to the whole scheme. But it is interesting to know that there is a group of individuals out there that hold actual, physical keys that would reboot the Internet as we know it.
You may have read earlier this week that Burst.net, a Scranton, Pa.-based Web hosting service, took Blogetery.com, a blog hosting service that features some 73,000 or so blogs, offline earlier this month over claims that one (or more?) of the sites was hosting materials used by "al-Qaeda operatives." Joe Marr, chief technology officer of Burst.net told C|Net that "it took the site offline after FBI agents alleged the blogging platform was being used by al-Qaeda operatives to distribute recruiting materials and to offer bomb-making tips."
Today Burst.net said that it had zipped up Blogetery.com's data and will give it back to its owner, but it will no longer host the site. Marr also said the al-Qaeda materials and some copyright infringing files were removed. The transfer was due to occur later in the day.