The Kinect probably will be used to spy on you 
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Zoe Hawkins
July 12, 2013 at 11:00 am

Considering the current event oriented news about Snowden, it really shouldn’t be a big surprise for us to learn that Microsoft gave the NSA access to encrypted messages.  Yup, Microsoft has been listening in on your Skype calls and reading all that sexting you’ve been doing at work.  And pretty soon, they’ll have eyes in your living room.

In the files from Edward Snowden (who, by the way, has been granted asylum by Venezuela), we are given more info about Prism – the NSA’s super surveillance program.  Essentially, Microsoft helped the NSA get around its encryption so that they could monitor web chats on Outlook.com, gave pre-encryption access to email, and now it appears that they have also given the NSA access to all Skype interactions.  

As explained:

Blanket orders from the secret surveillance court allow these communications to be collected without an individual warrant if the NSA operative has a 51% belief that the target is not a US citizen and is not on US soil at the time. Targeting US citizens does require an individual warrant, but the NSA is able to collect Americans’ communications without a warrant if the target is a foreign national located overseas.

Since Prism’s existence became public, Microsoft and the other companies listed on the NSA documents as providers have denied all knowledge of the program and insisted that the intelligence agencies do not have back doors into their systems.

[…]

But internal NSA newsletters, marked top secret, suggest the co-operation between the intelligence community and the companies is deep and ongoing.

It just makes me wonder what the plans are with the Xbox One.  It will have awesome Skype interface, as Microsoft keeps telling us.  It will also have a Kinect that’s strong enough to pick up on your heartbeat and the dilation of pupils.  Does this mean that the NSA will be able to watch you rage at the screen when you get owned?  Will they monitor your comments to see if you’re un-American or making treasonous statements?  It all just seems a little too much like big brother if you ask me.  Bad enough that we’re getting spied on via email and Skype – not sure I want to willingly accept the spy cam into my home.  Microsoft can give plenty of assurances about privacy, but the reality is that when the NSA asks for something, they make an offer you can’t refuse.

Wielding my lasso of truth, I am the combination of nerd passion and grammar nazi. I delve into all things awesome and geek-tastic. I believe people should stop defining themselves and just enjoy playing games, so let's get on with it!

  • Melasco

    And back to Gtalk I go….

    • Argentil

      Now known as Google Hangouts. I really hope Google improves their chat services ASAP.
      The time is now.

  • Umar Kiiroi Senk?

    love conspiracy talks! #illuminati

    • Lord Chaos

      Revolt!!! … Wait, did I just put that on the internet, excuse me, I need to go check if my bunker is in order.

      • HvR

        You are ok as long as you are not using IE

      • Argentil

        Better take the location of said bunker off Bing maps.

      • Umar Kiiroi Senk?

        They are going to spy on you all in the name Anit-terrorism prevention!!

        • Lord Chaos

          And just to put some more fuel to the fire: “Terrorists are what the bigger army call the smaller one.”

          • Umar Kiiroi Senk?

            By smaller one they mean women and children. the war is a lie but America will go to extreme lengths to control us…KINECT is their tool!!

    • Brady miaau

      I play chess with an American who is a Doctor and the biggest Conspiracy guy I know.

      Trouble is, he does make sense with some of what he says. It seems possible and in some cases even likely.

      For example, the one tower on 911 was detonated to collapse, yet the authorities denied it. There is a lot of evidence that points to a controlled explosions. Or is all made up!

      • Umar Kiiroi Senk?

        controlled explosion, cumon, plan hits the top, bottom explodes and collapses. The Weapons of Mass Destruction is a lie!

      • Zoe

        shhhhh, don’t say these things. Microsoft is listening….

        • Brady miaau

          Nah, I am using a secure browser. All good.

          Trust me, I know what I am doing.

          • Zoe

            famous last words

        • http://lazygamer.net/ OVG

          Not if you miss your monthly XBOX LIVE payment. Tee hee hee.

    • Eric Viljoen

      Did you watch it?

      • Umar Kiiroi Senk?

        watch what?

        • Eric Viljoen

          Attack on Titan

          • Umar Kiiroi Senk?

            Ahhh, YES :) Holy krap!!! It’s intense, Eren’s poor mum :( only watched two eps but hot damn it’s good as F**k

    • John Ambitious

      Want to see something crazy? Speaking of conspiracy.
      Open a new tab, type www. (illuminati in reverse) .com

      • Umar Kiiroi Senk?

        Lol that is very easy to do though. but funny enough I believe NSA is the NWO!

      • stark crazy

        try to say it backwards a few times it starts to sound like its a new “mulli” as in millennium

  • Hammersteyn

    MS just keeps making the choice that much easier when it comes to buying a next gen console.
    http://img9.joyreactor.com/pics/post/comics-extralife-kinect-xbox-one-716039.jpeg

  • Vampyre Squirrel

    that poor cat…

    • Captain Minion TallTwit

      LOL I know!

  • Trevor Davies

    It’s not tinfoil hat territory if it’s true!

  • Vampyre Squirrel

    Talking of cats… would the Kinect 2 be able to pick your animals up as additional viewers?

    • Argentil

      Kinect has detected a surplus of 3 cats in the residence of this female consumer. Advertising scheme switched to: Cat lady mode. Now marketing Häagen-Dazs, home and lifestyle channels, romance novels.

      • HvR

        LOL Haagen-Dazs, always wondered who their target market was

        • Brady miaau

          my wife? on occasion.

      • Zoe

        oh good, one cat shy of a marketing shift. although i do love some cookies and cream from haagen-dazs

        • Argentil

          Haha! If a man is detected, it lowers the threshold, don’t worry!

    • Brady miaau

      Yeah, that would be awesome. We must make it as boring for them as possible, and cats can outstare like anything.

  • Dean

    Tinfoil hat? No, this requires a tinfoil sombrero!

    • Vampyre Squirrel
      • Dean

        Let the Men in Black try and find him now.

        • HvR

          Look for the shiniest spot on the spy satellite photo.

          • Dean

            That shiny thing is Steve Ballmer’s head. This old man is smarter than that, the sombrero proves it.

      • Zoe

        lol, damn – you beat me to it!

        • Vampyre Squirrel

          There’s always this one…

          • Argentil

            Well played, parent. Those nasty democrats/space gestapo/ET’s/immigrants won’t be warping the brain of this child.

          • HvR

            They are all amateurs, these guys know what they are doing and they are doing it in style

          • http://lazygamer.net/ OVG

            My Mercury fillings are rattling… MAKE IT STOP :(

          • Dean

            Tinfoil, by Gucci

          • http://lazygamer.net/ OVG

            WIN

          • http://lazygamer.net/ OVG

            LOOK INTO MY EYES

  • Kromas

    I can just see a happy group of drunk friends sitting around the xbone and cracking jokes about 911 or something. BOOM!!! your house gets blown up.

  • http://lazygamer.net/ OVG

    LIVE and PSN is the same thing. Mass Effect 3 was crafted from all the Data mining of 2.
    Sure, now they can do it via audio and vision. Microsoft was already called out for hijacking peoples Skype conversations.

    The future is BORG.

  • Ultimo_Cleric N7

    I FRIGGIN TOLD YOU THE KINECT WAS SKYNET! There were a few people who ripped me off for commenting that the Kinect was potentially a dodgy option, but I was accused of being a PS fanboy.

    • Argentil

      I remember that. Shared memory, we’re like friends now. Yay.

    • CaptainNemo42

      SHUDDUP FANBOI!

      • Ultimo_Cleric N7

        NEEEVEEEERRR!!!!!!!

    • John Ambitious

      Nah. There’s already a Skynet in South Africa and they’re a delivery company. The worst that could happen when they get self aware is deliver you the wrong stuff on purpose

      • Ultimo_Cleric N7

        hahaha!! brilliant!

    • Sting-Ray

      Microsoft Skype Network. MS Skynet. it’s here…

  • Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew

    Dafuq 0_o

  • Brady miaau

    Wait, is this the one where the pigs take over?

    And the pigs get the good food (beds, whatever), because all are equal?

    Could be!

    Dystopian future may be as fun to live in as to play games in

  • Admiral Chief Groot Wors

    One more reason not to get it

  • Unavengedavo

    So what happens when you play a game like Counter Strike?

    • Lord Chaos

      Illumi-Room becomes a hell of a lot more realistic.

    • HvR

      Depends are you counter terrorist or terrorist?

  • Unavengedavo
  • John Ambitious

    I’ve got a few things I’m sure they wouldn’t want to see. Now who wants to start taking bets for getting an MS employee to throw up first?

    • Lord Chaos

      Challenge accepted.

    • BacchusZA

      I’ll just change from watching porn on my PC to watching it in the lounge, from the comfort of my couch, on my XBox One. With the kinect on the coffee table, right in front of me.

      You hear that, NSA?

      Right. In. Front. Of. Me.

      Don’t tell me I didn’t warn you :)

      • Argentil

        Next thing you know you’re registered as a potential sex offender on their systems for displaying perverse and exhibitionist tendencies.

  • http://lazygamer.net/ OVG

    I told you all 2 years ago that the Kinect was nothing more than a Trojan Horse for spying. Now that the Kinect 2 is mandatory, the proof is in the pudding.

    http://www.gameinformer.com/b/news/archive/2013/07/11/report-microsoft-collaborated-to-deliver-encrypted-user-data-to-nsa.aspx

    • John Ambitious

      Well done.
      But now for a real challenge….
      Could you tell me whether I’m going to be famous?

      • DBL_ZA

        How to become famous:

        1) Buy an XBOX one
        2) Get really angry at getting pwnd
        3) Throw some anti-American comments in your fit of rage (preferably include something about blowing up something or other in America)
        4) Ride the wave of fame into prison

        • http://lazygamer.net/ OVG

          8 years apparently.

          • Zoe

            only if you actually get a trial. otherwise you can get a beautiful orange jumpsuit in cuba ;)

          • http://lazygamer.net/ OVG

            Shit… No XBOX LIVE in Cuba :(

          • HvR

            jip offline so only 360, better deal with it

          • http://lazygamer.net/ OVG

            I suppose the only LIVE in Cuba are the two wires attached to your balls during the interrogation process by the Anti Micro Troll squad.

      • http://lazygamer.net/ OVG

        NO. Thanks to the internet making everybody famous via user generated content.

        Unless you sing a song about Tuesday you should beat Rebbecca Black in sales as nobody has done Tuesday. People do not even have sex on a Tuesday.

        Pointless day really.

        • Lord Chaos

          Heyyyy!!! Tuesday was my B-day, and it was awesome.

          • Unavengedavo

            Did you have Birthday sex on a Tuesday?

          • Lord Chaos

            Of course I did, on the couch, in front of the Kinect.

          • http://lazygamer.net/ OVG

            Did it turn off when she told you to GO HOME :P

          • Lord Chaos

            Lol, nope, although it did make these strange glitchy noises.

        • John Ambitious

          That’s quite true. I don’t even have Tuesday pants

  • 40 Insane Frogs

    Most likely they won’t monitor every video feed, but rather run a facial recognition algorithm for specific folk (the usual… FBI Most wanted, suspected terrorists etc.). Years ago, there was actually rumours of organised crime groups making use of game lobbies to organise their hits, so I guess they’ll employ the same tech they have now, where words and clusters of words are analysed.

    If it was so scary and 1984-ish, I’d actually be pretty excited. Instead, I’ve got my tinfoil hat on. Nkandla will never know what I’m thinking… muahahahaha never!!

  • Scratchy

    If you’re not conducting terrorist-y business, I don’t see why you should be so concerned about it? Are you really worried that Microsoft is going to watch you play in you jocks? If they want to watch me frag a noob in my birthday suit, that’s their problem

    • Zoe

      not doing things that are defined as terrorist-y activities, but the implications of this are far reaching. first step towards a “brave new world” or “1984” situation.