Second Life grows slowly, and, as any new technology, it is prone to journalistic abuse to infuse terror and panic on the mainstream masses.
This time, the threat comes from the Washington Post. There is really just one paragraph worth reading there, which is the single drop of sanity in an ocean of absurdity:
Jim Dempsey, policy director at the Center for Democracy and Technology, a nonpartisan group that monitors privacy issues, said he heard the same worries from the government when cell phones became popular in the 1980s and again when mainstream American logged on to the Internet in the 1990s.
Of course, the rest of the article mostly ignores Jim Dempsey, travelling instead the whole road of how Second Life is being used by terrorist cells to communicate, plan, and organise their next attacks, and how the several agencies with three-letter acronyms in the US are all heading towards the virtual words to create “cyberterrorism counter-units”.
Also, this is “old news” and vastly discussed in previous years. It’s incredible how some journalists, in their eagerness to condemn virtual worlds and ruin the virtual economy and virtual societies, recycle “bad news” from the past, change the order of the paragraphs, add a few more quotes (often cited out of context), and republish exactly the same article that was written 10 or 20 years ago.
In my next incarnation, I wish I were reborn as a Luddite journalist. One could make a career out of it, just writing one single article for my whole life, and doing a search & replace on a few words every time a new paradigm-shifting technology is released…