Here is something new: America’s ever watchful National Security Agency is not content with spying in all the real lands of the world. Their interests also extend to imaginary realms, like the virtual world of Second Life and World of Warcraft.
Ostensibly, their concern is that terrorists around the world might be using online games for secret communication. The idea is not, in fact, new; for what it’s worth, a similar idea exists as a plot device in Margaret Atwood’s superb, dystopian Oryx and Crake trilogy.
So I guess I should count it as a blessing that other aspects of Atwood’s nightmarish future have not become reality yet. Instead of corporatist anarchy, all we have is a benevolent superstate ever more keen on enforcing Pax Americana. And who knows… our freedoms and privacy may be somewhat curtailed in this New World Order, but if the Roman example is any guide, it may be a small price to pay for centuries of stable prosperity.
Anyhow, for what it’s worth, as far as I know there is no spying going on in MUD1/British Legends and MUD2. I can actually vouch for MUD1 personally; I, after all, wrote the code for the current implementation.