Government spying on video games is "overreaching and ineffective" as a means to thwart terrorism plots, according to a representative for the American Civil Liberties Union.
"It shares a pattern with other NSA revelations," ACLU staff attorney Linda Lye told the San Jose Mercury News. "The agency has a propensity for engaging in surveillance that is not well calculated to the goal of apprehending terrorists. It is both overreaching and ineffective."
The ACLU works in courts, legislatures, and communities to defend and preserve individual rights and liberties guaranteed by the Constitution and United States laws.
Documents from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden released this week showed that American and British government agents infiltrated fantasy games like World of Warcraft and Second Life, as well as Xbox Live, in an effort to hunt terrorists.
The documents described World of Warcraft, Second Life, and Xbox Live as "target-rich" communications networks through which potential intelligence targets could "hide in plain sight." However, the documents never say if any terrorist plots were foiled through government surveillance.
Microsoft has since joined a coalition calling on President Obama and members of Congress to make reforms that ensure government surveillance is restricted by law.