This is a strange one — US Homeland Security is currently launching a $177,000US research project to find ways to siphon information from consoles, and it intends to purchase used overseas units in order to do so.
According to Foreign Policy, Obscure Technologies, a company with a background in computer forensics, has been awarded a contract to develop “hardware and software tools that can be used for extracting data from video game systems,” all in the name of catching paedophiles, who are apparently using consoles to seek out victims.
“Today’s gaming systems are increasingly being used by criminals as a primary tool in exploiting children and, as a result, are being recovered by U.S. law enforcement organizations during court-authorized searches,” said Simson Garfinkel, an expert in Computer Forensics.
There’s also apparent suspicion that terrorists are using video games to communicate without the threat of traditional means of surveillance.
All fair and reasonable, if you’re of the political persuasion that the ends justify the means, but here’s the interesting part — as a result of US Privacy issues, Obscure Technologies will be purchasing used consoles from overseas as guinea pigs, extracting personal information from consoles being used around the world.
Best be wary if you intend to eBay any of your consoles in the recent future…
Spy Games [Foreign Policy]