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Saturday, January 28, 2012

Xbox: The latest crime fighting technique??

I came across an interesting article last week by Nate Anderson for Ars Technica discussing how game consoles are increasingly being used by law enforcement officers in criminal investigations.  See, CSI: Xbox by Nate Anderson.

It can be used to stop the exchanging of child pornography through file sharing.  It can be used to establish or refute alibis (I was/wasn't there; I was playing ______ at the time).  And it can be used as a means for undercover officers to interact with suspects online via chat and then record the conversations to use in a later prosecution. 

As technology advances, law enforcement has to stay ahead of the curve but that is not an invitation to circumvent civil liberties.  I imagine law enforcement will need warrants to search the contents of a gaming console the way they would for a computer. However, I'm not certain there is an expectation of privacy in conversations shared over a gaming platform. It will be interesting to see how this issue plays out over time but in the meantime, know that Big Brother is watching.

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