Major gaming companies signup to share your info with the US government

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Online surveillance

Oh, the privacy scare mongering that happens online. I still giggle at people who copy and paste that dumb Facebook status about all their pictures belonging to them – as if anyone could believe that would actually impact privacy rules. There is a lot of misinformation out there, but the latest claim is really quite worrying.

According to an emailed fact sheet sent to some key players, Obama has issued a cybersecurity executive order. This order creates a new framework for,

Expanded information sharing designed to help companies work together, and work with the federal government, to quickly identify and protect against cyber threats.

This is something separate from the Cybersecurity Information Sharing and Protection Act (CIPSPA) which is a bill that is trying to get through American legislation but keeps failing due to privacy concerns. No, this framework is something of a workaround – it allows companies to share information with the federal government via a company that will then work with the newly created National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center before getting passed to Homeland Security. It’s important to note that this framework sends information to Homeland Security as compared to the NSA; this is a major distinction as Homeland Security is a civilian organization while the NSA is military.

So, why should we care? Well, while certain groups have politely said no thanks, others are already signing up.

But some groups are signing on for full information sharing, starting now. They include the Cyber Threat Alliance, which includes Palo Alto Networks, Symantec, Intel Security and Fortinet; the Entertainment Software Association, which represents Sony and Microsoft’s video game divisions, as well as many more of the largest video game companies in the country; Crowdstrike, a security firm; Box, a cloud storage company; and FireEye, a cybersecurity firm.

That’s right, gaming companies are signing up of their own volition to share your information with the department of Homeland Security (as well as some other organizations along the way). What will this mean for you? Maybe nothing. But maybe your gaming habits, or the general chatter among South African gamers, will impact future prospects. It’s a lot of data to trudge through, and it’s not like the American government will take note of your individual screaming during COD and apply it to reality, but it’s still distressing for them to have access to our private records, and with company consent,too.

Last Updated: February 17, 2015

Zoe Hawkins

Wielding my lasso of truth, I am the combination of nerd passion and grammar nazi. I delve into all things awesome and geek-tastic. You can read more of my words over at www.borngeek.co.za, or just follow me on all the social networks to get the true range of my sarcasm and wit.

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