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PlayStation (Games) Security

Italy Invests 150 Million Euros In Surveillance, With Emphasis On PS4 Chats (thestack.com) 62

An anonymous reader sends word that Italy will spend 150 million Euros on reforming information and security services. Part of this reform will be monitoring communication among users of the "chat" feature on PlayStation 4. The Stack reports: "Italian Minister of Justice Andrea Orlando has revealed that Italy is spending 150 million euros ($157mn) on new technology and staff to improve surveillance capabilities, and emphasized that the 'new instruments' (it's not clear whether this means new technology or new requisitions) will also target the Sony PlayStation network which fell under suspicion as a possible forum of organization for the Paris attacks (though no evidence was found to support this)."
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Italy Invests 150 Million Euros In Surveillance, With Emphasis On PS4 Chats

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  • Wow! (Score:5, Funny)

    by nospam007 ( 722110 ) * on Tuesday December 01, 2015 @06:32AM (#51032447)

    Listening to millions of 12 year old kids will be hard on the listeners, I hope they have no longer shifts than 2 hours.

    And to _understand_ what the hell they are saying is even harder than listening to Urdu or Suaheli conversations, because most of them have a lisp these days.

    • by gweihir ( 88907 )

      This is not about security. This is about giving money to people that do not deserve it (like "intelligence" agencies that have consistently messed up their job) and about giving the appearance of "doing something". In the end, it boils down to a stupid population.

  • There may not be professional terrorists on the PS4 network, but I'd sure as heck be terrorized if I had to listen to it all day.
  • PS4? They're fighting last week's war over again. Stupid Italians.

  • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Tuesday December 01, 2015 @07:03AM (#51032527)

    Ok, it would have made lots of sense about 2 months ago. Now, it's just pointless. You're literally guarding the barn after the stampede.

    • Why did it make lots of sense two months ago? Those "reports" of PS4 chat being used to coordinate the attacks have never been corroborated with a shred of evidence. For all we know, they used EVE Online to coordinate, or Teamspeak or a thousand other things.

  • Politics at work (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Tom ( 822 ) on Tuesday December 01, 2015 @07:12AM (#51032545) Homepage Journal

    That's how modern politics works, unfortunately.

    Ignore the facts. Pick the first easy thing that shows we are doing something.

    Ignore the real problem. Pick a random thing from the headlines and act on that.

    Ignore the known solutions. Make sure you are never seen continuously working on the same thing until it's done, our attention span is too short for that.

    • by gweihir ( 88907 )

      And on the site of the population: Be thankful that "something is being done" and too stupid to see that nothing effective is actually being done and it is all for sgiw and for entirely different reasons than stated.

      People in democracies have the government they collectively deserve. No I wish there was one country where "stupid" was not the norm of the population, but apparently, we non-stupid ones have to suffer with the rest.

      • by Tom ( 822 )

        but apparently, we non-stupid ones have to suffer with the rest.

        Also, 90% of the population think that the other 90% of the population are the stupid ones.

        It's stupid to explain the corruption and incompetence of our governments with stupidity and desinterest of the population. I'm beginning to believe that is a meme intentionally spread to prevent that anything is done to fix the real problem.

        Which is: The people governing us are corrupt, self-absorbed arseholes with the mental capacity of 5 year olds but the trickery and manipulative abilities of experienced psychopat

        • by gweihir ( 88907 )

          Which is: The people governing us are corrupt, self-absorbed arseholes with the mental capacity of 5 year olds but the trickery and manipulative abilities of experienced psychopaths.

          And the people voting for them are too stupid to see these characteristics? Or do you think smart people fall for those con-artists?

    • by mikael ( 484 )

      Security theater. Whenever something happens, "security procedures will be reviewed and tightened.". They pick on the group that will offer the least resistance. To show they are getting tough on airline security, they might decide to do random strip searches on people, but women in hibab's will be exempt for cultural reasons, so they'll choose church priests and nuns instead.

    • Wow, are you some kind of whistleblower of David Cameron's plans to bomb Syria?

      That's a play-by-play account of what the Tories are doing.

  • The quote about PS is this one:

    La rete - ha sottolineato Orlando - offre numerose opportunità di comunicazione, nelle indagini antiterrorismo è stato segnalato anche l'uso delle playstation, per questo ogni forma di messaggio va monitorata con nuovi strumenti.

    English translation:

    "The network - said Orlando - offers numerous opportunities for communication, in counter-terrorism investigations has also been reported the use of the Playstation, so any form of comunication should be monitored with new tools."

    So sorry, no emphasis on ps4 chats at all. It's just a clickbait title, so people can be outraged for nothing.

  • Assuming PS4 were monitored by intelligence agencies, then the people they're monitoring would just move somewhere else. It's not like there is any shortage of websites, email systems, games, forums and chatrooms situated all over the world that they could pick from.
    • Precisely. You know what's cheaper than monitoring PS4 conversations but just as effective? Pretending that you monitor PS4 conversations.
      • by DrXym ( 126579 )
        Except that would be self defeating too. It's better to not disclose what you're monitoring, or at least to plant comments in jihadist forums that mixes some good advice with some "safe" sites that you happen to be monitoring and let them at it. If you can monitor their chatter then you can infer what they're up to. If you scare them off then who knows what they're talking about or planning.
    • by AHuxley ( 892839 )
      The end result is social control.
      The problem with websites, email systems, forums and chatrooms is they all can be found, have feeder sites to them or are listed, get mentioned in public over web 2.0, could be intelligence service fronts and understood by any nation, group, NGO or contractor on the hunt. Or the admin/s are turned or have been replaced or have been befriended.
      In theory US/UK "collect it all" would have got very packet by default for any 'word' readable in any language on any internet fac
    • by jonwil ( 467024 )

      With all the power that IS seems to have these days (and the fact that they understand technology and the internet far better than any terrorist group that came before them), I am surprised they haven't tried to find some programmers and get them to build some custom encrypted communications solutions. Something using end-to-end encryption and no ties to any western entity that could be subject to a national security letter or something.

      Make it look legitimate/hidden so people (cops, customs people etc) who

  • They will implement it ... just after the PS5 comes out
  • by geekmux ( 1040042 ) on Tuesday December 01, 2015 @08:23AM (#51032719)

    "...will also target the Sony PlayStation network which fell under suspicion as a possible forum of organization for the Paris attacks (though no evidence was found to support this)."

    Since this has been common knowledge almost within hours of the attacks, please choose whether it is corruption or pure fucking stupidity that allowed their government to continue with a bill to spend hundreds of millions for monitoring, which will include PS4 networks.

    Corruption or Stupidity. Pick one, because they're the only options that fit here. It really is, and I grow tired of asking why these things occur in the blatant absence of evidence. Time to call a pig a pig no matter what color of lipstick they're slapping on.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Corruption or Stupidity. Pick one, because they're the only options that fit here.

      You're assuming they aren't lying on the headline. Look again:

      “The net offers numerous opportunities for communication. Antiterrorism investigations have highlighted the use of the [PlayStation]. Because of this every method of communication will be monitored with new instruments.

      PS4 is the excuse. NSA-style monitoring is the objective.

    • by slazzy ( 864185 )
      Great excuse for government officials to buy 50 million worth of PS4s and games and spend the other 100 Million man-hours playing video games.
  • Everyone knows that all terrorists play Xbox.
  • by GuB-42 ( 2483988 ) on Tuesday December 01, 2015 @10:06AM (#51033133)

    Employees : We discovered that terrorists use PS4s to plan attacks and we have no mean of monitoring them.
    Boss : But, it is just like regular chat, and we have packet sniffers, and...
    Employees : No, no, no. They use strong encryption that only real PS4s can decode. We need PS4s in every office.
    Boss : Ok, but your proposal is too cheap, so every one of you will get a PS4.

    ... later...

    Boss : What are you doing, are you playing (looks at the box besides the console) Call of Duty ?
    Employee : Yes, hum.. no, I am conducting surveillance. Just look at the chat, they are talking about bombs and guns, I think we are up do something.
    Boss : Great work, is there anything you need.
    Employee : Yes, if possible, I would like a PS4 for home, so I can, you know, get more efficient tracking terrorists.
    Boss : Of course, it is a pleasure to see such devotion to our homeland security. I'll make sure you'll get that promotion.

  • Do you have a Geiger counter?

  • > Italy is spending 150 million euros
    ...on dragnet'ing a katamari blob scrutinized by automation /at best/ with a negligible chance of detecting activity that can pick any number of alternative, unmonitored channels for communication*.

    A bullshit motive means ulterior motive. Naive optimists hope for (A) incompetence, theater, tax dollars wasted; expect (B) malice, blanket surveillance, mass scooping, terrorism is an afterthought if not omitted entirely.

    not even including srs bsns super-secure one

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