Officials in Brussels have said that the people responsible for Friday’s attacks in Paris were likely to have used Sony’s Playstation 4 to coordinate the operation.
The game consoles allow the terrorists to communicate more securely due to the effective way they encrypt data, making it more difficult for the authorities to communications.
Yahoo News reports:
“The thing that keeps me awake at night is the guy behind his computer, looking for messages from [the Islamic State group, or ISIS] and other hate preachers,“ Jan Jambon, Belgium’s federal home affairs minister, said Friday, according to Quartz. “PlayStation 4 is even more difficult to keep track of than WhatsApp,” the popular instant messaging app for smartphones. He said ISIS uses the gaming console because it’s harder for authorities to keep tabs on.
“With PlayStation 4, it seems likely that simple voice communication could have worked just fine,” Forbes contributor Paul Tassi wrote. “It’s still difficult for investigators to monitor IP-based voice systems compared to say, a simple cellphone. … The point is that terrorists could simply be in a [PlayStation Network] party together and chatting away mostly free from the fear that anyone is listening because of the difficulty and infrequency of governments eavesdropping on those forms of communication.”
Terrorists could also use more stealthy communication means, including ones that wouldn’t require any verbal or written messages at all. For example, a player in Super Mario Maker could spell out a note in gold coins, something that would almost impossible for intelligence agents to catch.
It wouldn’t be the first time a PlayStation 4 was used for potential terrorist plots. In May, an Austrian teenager pleaded guilty to terrorism charges after investigators found bomb-making plans on his Playstation, Reuters reported.
Friday’s series of coordinated terrorist attacks in Paris left 129 people dead and hundreds more injured. Terrorists believed to be associated with ISIS carried out several attacks on the city in tandem, including detonating bombs outside a soccer match at the Stade de France and killing nearly 100 people at the Bataclan theater, a popular concert venue.