Should PS4 gamers worry about Party Chat being monitored following Paris attacks?
After the terrible ISIS attacks on Paris a few weeks ago, the media pointed its bony finger of judgment at Sony, blaming its PS4 Party Chat service for allowing the terrorists to communicate covertly. Following that, it seems that Italian justice minister Andrea Orlando has his heart set on clamping down PlayStation-based communications by monitoring Party Chat.
Speaking to Il Messaggero (via The Independent) Orlando said that the PS4’s private messaging system could be used by terrorists to plot attacks. “The internet offers numerous opportunities for communication and counter-terrorism investigation have reported that PlayStation could also be a tool used, so any form of communication should be monitored.”
Sony found itself at the centre of all of this controversy, with many news outlets reporting the same story, because of one erroneous report from Forbes (which has now been corrected). The case for PlayStation’s Party Chat functionality being used for ISIS communication was actually pure speculation by the Belgian federal home affairs minister Jan Jambon.
Jambon made the claim before the Paris attacks, speaking on 10 November and talking about the broader difficulties of Belgium’s security weaknesses. Speaking to Kotaku, Forbes journalist Paul Tassi admitted the reporting error and changed the story, but it turns out Mr. Orlando didn’t get the memo.
It’s hard to believe Sony will willingly hand over the security and privacy of its customers to the Italian government based on a hunch. When we asked Sony for comment, it issued the same statement as before on how it handles illegal activity on its servers:
“PlayStation 4 allows for communication amongst friends and fellow gamers, in common with all modern connected devices. We take our responsibilities to protect our users extremely seriously, and we urge our users and partners to report activities that may be offensive, suspicious, or illegal. When we identify or are notified of such conduct, we are committed to taking appropriate actions in conjunction with the appropriate authorities.”
So, if you’re a PlayStation 4 owner, you needn’t worry about your Party Chat communications being monitored any time soon – you can still trash talk someone on Black Ops III without repercussions, if that takes your fancy.
If you really want to know how ISIS is communicating, find out everything there is to know about Telegram.