As we previously reported, the PlayStation Terms of Service dictate that Sony has the right to monitor and review your activity on the PlayStation Network. However, could that reach extend to the government?
A few days ago, it was revealed that government agencies for both the United States and the United Kingdom had infiltrated online games such as World of Warcraft and online networks such as Xbox Live. What were they doing there? Leaked documents by Edward Snowden state that government agents were looking for potential terrorism activity and messages by spying on gamers. Apparently, there were so many government agents playing and monitoring these games that they would sometimes run across each other!
There is no indication that government agencies were using the PlayStation Network to spy in either country, but it is a strong possibility. That camper in Call of Duty might have been a CIA agent, or anyone in your guild Final Fantasy XIV may have been part of the FBI.
Microsoft has issued an official statement, decrying the government for its actions:
"Like many others, we are especially alarmed by recent allegations in the press of a broader and concerted effort by some governments to circumvent online security measures -- and in our view, legal processes and protections -- in order to surreptitiously collect private customer data"
The company, among many others, has promised to increase security to stop this from happening. But Microsoft's rival Sony has surprisingly remained quiet on this issue.
The PlayStation 4 is heavily focused on interacting with other users and sharing data -- a prime target for government surveillance. Why has Sony remained so quiet One theory is that Sony, being a Japanese company, hasn't issued a statement due to their headquarters not residing in the US or UK -- they may feel the issue simply doesn't affect them. Another theory is that an announcement is incoming, as the company can't stay quiet for long on such a hot button issue.
What can you do to shield yourself from government spying?
Be careful about who you talk to and what data you share. Regardless of how well you think you know someone online, at the end of the day everything someone says can be falsified. Never reveal private information about yourself to anyone while on any online network, including the PlayStation Network.
PS4 Experts readers, do you think you've been spied on through the PlayStation Network? How do you feel about this? Let us know in the comments!
Article by - Joshua Phillips
Insert Date: 12/19/2013