Will Your Xbox 1 Be the Ultimate NSA Spy Machine?


You had better start watching what you’re saying on Call of Duty, or even around your own home, from now on. Your new Xbox One just might be the latest ultimate National Security Agency (NSA) spy-machine.

Is the new game system spying on your most deep conversations amongst your Xbox friends over Hot Pockets and Mountain Dew Code Red? I’d guess that they don’t care too much about your latest Halo attack strategy, but who knows what future secrets whistle blowers hold.

Germany's Federal Data Protection Commissioner Peter Schaar told German magazine Spiegel that he is concerned about the new game console’s potential for invasion of it’s owner’s privacy. Schaar’s concern was expressed in May, before the NSA scandal broke, but has suddenly taken on new meaning given Microsoft’s involvement in PRISM’s activity.

Sporting the new “always on” feature, the Xbox One video game system can respond to voice commands and turn itself on (along with your television) when you say the words “Xbox on.” Skype, the largely popular internet phone service (which also apparently gives the Feds an ear) will be intimately integrated into the new system.

Microsoft released a statement earlier this month explaining that their new flagship system will not be spying. The gist of their press release was that “you are in control.” Privacy settings on the system will determine what the console can and cannot do.

According to Schaar’s comments translated in Polygon,

"The Xbox [One] registered all sorts of personal information about me," Schaar said (via Bing Translator). "Reaction rates, my learning or emotional states. You are then processed on a remote server and possibly even to third parties. Whether it be deleted ever, the person concerned cannot influence."

One commenter, Pynchon, on Polygon compared the device to an Orwellian “telescreen” but noted the difference being that it can see in the dark.

After all, it would be a tremendously sneaky way to listen in on a suspected criminal. I’d be curious to know the statistical correlation between Xbox gaming and terrorism. I was under the impression that Call of Duty inspires you to hunt down terrorists … but then I read that some terrorists use it to plan actual attacks.

If you commonly wear a tin foil hat and plan on purchasing an Xbox One, you might want to consider leaving the thing unplugged .…