Fighting yesterday’s tactics

The US announced a new strategy to combat money laundering but seems unaware of the recent developments in the field.

Yet the latest digital advances open to criminals and terrorists — mobile phones or other mobile devices to secretly transfer money globally, or M-payments; gambling; and transfer of virtual money through online role-playing games, or RPGs — are missing from this long-awaited government strategy.

Transferring money via online games like Second Life is difficult to track, the servers might not even be on US soil, there are no applicable laws governing such transfers, and the games allow any amount of money to flow in and out of the game.

This would also appear to be a swell way to transfer bribe money to corrupt politicians. How could local investigators discover the esteemed council member got $20,000 from a local contractor in exchange for a favorable vote when the money was transferred from DeathSkull93 to NinjaMan in a RPG hosted on servers in Europe?

Hmm, I wonder, will we see rogue RPGs appear? That while they will provide a game for people to play, their real purpose will be to launder money?

  • Well, there’s been Warcraft-related murders (like the guy in China killed someone for a virtual magic sword last year). The street has its own uses for things (William Gibson) – that the technology is going to get used for the sake of a)crime and b)mucky pictures and videos seems wholly logical.

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