April 17, 2012:
American intelligence agencies are developing tools to make it easier to extract useful data from video game consoles (Xbox, Wii, PlayStation, and so on). This enables intelligence to be obtained from the growing number of used consoles available, or those captured during raids of terrorist hangouts.
These consoles are actually specialized personal computers that contain hard drives and allow users to perform a lot of PC type functions (email, chat, web browsing). The files containing these communications are not displayed as obviously as on PCs and most users don't really care. With this in mind, console manufacturers have made it difficult to use at user data without the proper password. But the counter-terror forces do care and want to get at potentially useful data, quickly. They are certain they will find useful information because that has been the case with the many PCs captured from terrorists over the last two decades. The intelligence agencies already have "data grabbing" tools for PCs and now are building similar stuff for consoles.