back to article Italians to spend €150m ... snooping on PS4 jabber

Italian counter-terror agents are to monitor Sony's PlayStation Network for jihadi chatter, according to the nation's justice minister, following alarmingly silly reports that a PS4 was used to coordinate the terrorist attacks in Paris. Andrea Orlando told Italian broadsheet Il Messaggero that the government would be investing …

  1. Mr Anonymous

    World domination

    I used to plan my world domination in the online game Global Therno Nuclear War, but later learnt via Tic-Tac-Toe that my intended rusults were unobtainable.

    1. DavCrav Silver badge

      Re: World domination

      Mega Lo Mania taught us, or at least taught me, that the first to nuclear weapons always wins.

      1. g e

        Re: World domination

        now, of course, everyone's going to change their COD name to jihadi_jim or xxAlouitiousAkhbarxx and start spaffing mockwah speech (if cockney can have mockney, fatwah can have mockwah?) - the sheer quantity of noise as it stands about blowing shit up on a gaming network makes the idea risible, never mind people KNOWING you're looking for it.

        Devil's Advocate May Cry anyone ?

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    sigh

    Les sanglots longs

    Des violons

    De l’automne

    Blessent mon cœur

    D’une langueur

    Monotone.

  3. malle-herbert Silver badge
    Big Brother

    Talk about paranoia...

    More (snooping) power Igor !!!

  4. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

    Bits are transmitted here... check whether the "terror" QoS flag is set

    This is Italy so it's probably a fat kickback for a preferred pork program (PPP), nothing to do with reality.

    The Independent seems to take this at face value ... but then again the WaPo today thinks that Europe has a particular terrorist problem because there is no pervasive surveillance, integrated data exchange and not enough cops. Seems more like because Europe is near to american battlefields and likes to involve itself in the same for unclear reasons.

  5. Graham Marsden
    Facepalm

    Don't forget...

    ... terrorists could also spell out messages using alphabetti spaghetti and post them via Snapchat...

    1. 's water music Silver badge

      Re: Don't forget...

      ... terrorists could also spell out messages using alphabetti spaghetti and post them via Snapchat...

      Or specially adapted* fax machines.

      *do not ask me how I know of the need for Special Adaptations

      1. Dr. Mouse Silver badge

        Re: Don't forget...

        How do you know of the need for Special Adaptations? :-P

    2. Dan 55 Silver badge
      Childcatcher

      Re: Don't forget...

      Alphabetti spaghetti? Ban pasta now!

      1. John H Woods Silver badge

        Ban pasta now!

        Yes: prohibit impennetrable networks!

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Don't forget...

        Judge: Can you tell me why you tasered the defendent's three year old son?

        Officer: But M'Lud, Ahmed junior was eating the evidence when we arrived! We had no choice but to taser him!

    3. Chairo

      Re: Don't forget...

      No need for alphabetti spaghetti. They'd write in Arabian writing. Classic spaghetti laid out on a plate will do the job nicely.

  6. phuzz Silver badge
    Facepalm

    It must be a good job creation program, how many screens of other people playing CoD do you think you could watch at the same time, and still notice when someone was writing messages with bullets? Say it's about eight, that way you'll only(!) need one watcher per eight gamers, and then there's just the small matter of all the equipment etc you'll need to monitor all games, all the time.

    Well at least there's no chance whatsoever that potential terrorists could just have a chat face to face, because that would render this whole boondoggle a waste of time.

    1. disorder

      Indeed surely it'd be easier, cheaper and more effective simply to offer terrorists^Wcitizens the bounty of 'achievements' for reporting each other.

      1. WraithCadmus

        bounty of 'achievements' for reporting each other.

        Fabulous prizes to be won!

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    >"An ISIS agent could spell out an attack plan in Super Mario Maker’s coins and share it privately with a friend, or two Call of Duty players could write messages to each other on a wall in a disappearing spray of bullets."

    I'm surprised nobody's churned out a "BAN VIDEO GAMES!" mantra again yet.

  8. Dr. Mouse Silver badge

    Is it just me who thinks this is an excuse for spooks to play video games all day?

    1. auburnman

      I was just about to post something like that - shadowy organisation with little to no accountability and certainly a highly limited view of if they're doing work at all wants to get in a stack of PS4's. Hmmmm....

  9. John H Woods Silver badge

    There's only one way to stop this madness:

    We need a high-profile absolutely* spy-proof communication system: strong encryption and no** usable metadata. We know there are such things, but they don't have enough public exposure for the majority people to realize "Well, terrorists could always use System X" so what's the point of allowing governments to spy on everybody all the time?"

    * for highish values of absolutely

    ** for smallish values of no

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      the spies seem to use obfuscated TLS

      There is most certainly a high-profile absolutely* spy-proof communication system,

      the spies themselves use it! - we couldn't have spies spying on spies now, that would be a loss of privacy, and compromise compartmentalised security or summat

      * SAIC netEraser seems to be the highest profile spy-proof spy-comms program.

      there were many court-cases over 'gabriel technologies' where big players tried to use patented spook communications technology.

      just imagine if the jihadis got a hold of that type of sh*t

      netEraser - CIA from the millennium - http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/WPcap/2000-02/16/030r-021600-idx.html

  10. thomas k

    not clear whether any useful intelligence was ever produced

    Well, with Second Life, there may at least have been some happy endings.

    1. malle-herbert Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: not clear whether any useful intelligence was ever produced

      And "Death to the Infidels" spelled out with flying penisses...

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Holmes

    A bit slow, perhaps?

    I remember years ago telling my daughter that terrorists could use Animal Crossing to meet up and make arrangements, and that one day the spooks would be monitoring what goes on. 'Sure Dad', she said, wondering how many more marbles I had left to lose.

  12. Nick Kew Silver badge
    Big Brother

    Just a theory ....

    If people with something to hide believe a channel is being watched, they're likely to avoid it. Even blacklist it, so dumber members don't stumble in.

    So feed information that $channel is being monitored by $spook (of whatever country in the alliance), and that's one fewer place they're likely to use.

    So, make announcements like this, and delegate someone to sample the channel in question a couple of times a year (and a dumb bot to run full-time). Repeat as necessary until they're channeled into somewhere you really do watch. Gotcha, for relatively little actual expenditure of effort.

    No of course I don't know it's any such thing. But who's to say it's not?

  13. Chris G Silver badge

    Commentorists

    I'm fairly sure that nasty terrorists could use the comments sections of reputable online magazines to exchange the details of their dastardly plans.

    After all some comments could be written in code!

    You do know that you are all on a list or lists?

    1. Chairo

      Re: Commentorists

      It would sure explain some of the posts. On the other hand, since EADON's "retirement" there has been a steep decline in rabid comments.

      Oh, and it would be really nice if the spooks would read the comment section of El Reg. Perhaps it might spark some common sense. But I'm not holding my breath.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    They're Italian

    Expect the money to end up in a government officials villa and bank account...

    1. LDS Silver badge

      Re: They're Italian

      And some of their friends. By pure chance, one of Renzi best friends, Marco Carrai, happens to have founded and funded a cybersecurity company last year...

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