PARIS: The attacks in Paris may have been planned using a PlayStation 4, according to reports.
The games console is being increasingly used as a way to chat secretly. And at least one PlayStation 4 was reportedly seized during a huge night of raids across Belgium and France.
Last week, Belgium’s foreign affairs minister warned that the PlayStation 4 was being increasingly used and was very difficult to track.
“The thing that keeps me awake at night is the guy behind his computer, looking for messages from IS and other hate preachers,” Jan Jambon said.
“PlayStation 4 is even more difficult to keep track of than WhatsApp.”
The PlayStation Network that allows online players to communicate uses encrypted text and voice chat, which means that intelligence agencies can’t intercept messages as they pass between users.
Users can also create private chat rooms easily, meaning that people are more likely to know that they are being eavesdropped on.
Earlier this year, an Austrian teenager was found to have been using a PlayStation 4 to make contact with ISIS activists in Syria, according to prosecutors. Police had found data on the console that included bomb-making instructions, according to Reuters.
Some have even suggested that games themselves could become an organising or recruiting ground, with players joining virtual areas to talk about plans and propaganda.
Documents leaked by Edward Snowden in 2013 showed that British and US intelligence agencies were embedding themselves into popular online games like World of Warcraft so that they could watch alleged terrorist plots.
Forbes Magazine has even suggested that players could communicate within the gameplay in ways that are likely never to be spotted creating messages within a game’s levels, or shooting bullets in a specific way within a game.