Orwell: The surveillance game that puts you in Big Brother’s shoes [Echoes of Enders Game?]

Orwell: The surveillance game that puts you in Big Brother’s shoes by Claire Reilly.

From the post:

“Big Brother has arrived — and it’s you.”

As CNET’s resident privacy nark, I didn’t need much convincing to play a game all about social engineering and online surveillance.

But when I stepped into my role as a new recruit for the fictional Orwell internet surveillance program, I didn’t expect to find the rush of power so beguiling, or unsettling.

Developed by German outfit Osmotic Studios, Orwell sees you working as a new recruit in a surveillance agency of the same name, following a series of terrorist attacks in Bonton, the fictional capital of The Nation. As an agent, you are responsible for scraping social media feeds, blogs, news sites and the private communications of the Nation’s citizens to find those with connections to the bombings.

You start with your first suspect before working through a web of friends and associates. You’re after data chunks — highlighted pieces of information and text found in news stories, websites and blogs that can be dragged and uploaded into the Orwell system and permanently stored as evidence.

The whole game has a kind of polygon graphic aesthetic, making the news clippings, websites and social media feeds you’re trawling feel close to the real thing. But as with everything in Orwell, it’s viewed through a glass, darkly.

If you are a game player, this sounds wickedly seductive.

If your not, what if someone weaponized Orwell so that what appear to be “in the game” hacks are hacks in the “real world?”

A cybersecurity “Enders Game” where the identity of targets and consequences of attacks are concealed from hackers?

Are the identity of targets or consequences of attacks your concern? Or is credit for breaching defenses and looting data enough?

Before reaching that level of simulation, imagine changing from the lone/small group hacker model to a more distributed model.

Where anonymous hackers offer specialized skills, data or software in collaboration on proposed hacks.

Ideas on the requirements for such a collaborative system?

Assuming nation states get together on cybersecurity, it could be a mechanism to match or even out perform such efforts.

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