Sony has responded to comments by a Belgium politician that the PlayStation 4 is being used by terrorists for communication purposes because it’s difficult to monitor.
As reported by Eurogamer, Belgium's Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Security and Home Affairs Jan Jambon said in a debate held prior to last week’s terrorist attacks in Paris that he feared Sony’s console was being used by terrorist networks.
"The thing that keeps me awake at night is the guy behind his computer, looking for messages from IS and other hate preachers," he said, as reported by The Bulletin.
"PlayStation 4 is even more difficult to keep track of than WhatsApp."
Debate organiser Politico published further comments from Jambon under the headline ‘Why terrorists love PlayStation 4’.
“The most difficult communication between these terrorists is via PlayStation 4,” said Jambon.
“It’s very, very difficult for our services — not only Belgian services but international services — to decrypt the communication that is done via PlayStation 4.”
In response, Sony said it was proactive in fighting against such things, but added that any communication device could be abused.
Here’s the statement a Sony spokesperson gave Eurogamer:
PlayStation 4 allows for communication amongst friends and fellow gamers and, in common with all modern connected devices, this has the potential to be abused. However, 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 and will continue to do so.
Unfortunately, following the terrorist attacks in Paris – which at the time of writing have claimed the lives of 129 people – several media outlets including NBC, Fox, The Daily Mail, The Telegraph, and Forbes reported that a PlayStation 4 had been used by the terrorists to coordinate things,
Forbes’ Paul Tassi later admitted that he thought Jambon’s comments had been made after the attacks, and that a PlayStation 4 containing evidence of attack planning had been found.
“This was actually a mistake that I’ve had to edit and correct,” Tassi told Kotaku.
“I misread the minister’s statement, because even though he was specifically saying that PS4 was being used by ISIS to communicate, there is no public list of evidence list of what was found in the specific recent raids.
“I’ve edited the post to reflect that, and it was more meant to be about discussing why or how groups like ISIS can use consoles. It’s my fault, as I misinterpreted his statement.”
Tassi has since posted a follow-up clarifying his point.
“The post was meant to be instructive, rather than alarmist, but I understand that some interpreted that way,” he wrote.
“If that was the case, I apologize, but I do think this is a discussion worth having.”