The Dark Side of the Metaverse

(ORDO NEWS) — On October 28, 2021, Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, perhaps trying to put a drastic end to what was definitely an annus horribilis (terrible year) for him and his company, made a double announcement: Facebook is changing its name to Meta.

Meta, according to Zuckerberg, will be a “social technology company” – an organization that will focus on moving Facebook’s business from the “old” social media platform to a brand new, yet to be defined and built virtual domain called Metaverse.

Metaverse, “…a network of 3D social media-focused virtual worlds,” according to its new promoters, developers and supporters, will bring our virtual and physical worlds significantly closer by transforming the hitherto 2D social media experience into a 3D wonder world.

In this merger of the virtual and the real, the physical boundaries that prevent us from moving from here to there will be a thing of the past, they will be replaced by a virtual metaverse universe that will allow people around the corner and around the globe to meet each other and do all kinds of entertainment and business in the virtual wild. In the West: to play, communicate, consume and distribute all sorts of products, artistic creativity, limitless opportunities for learning and experience, and of course, endless buying, selling and trading.

A real world of miracles; what could be wrong with it? In fact, a lot.

Money smell scammers

Much of the activity in the metaverse will have a financial dimension, and much of this activity will be unencumbered by today’s technological, regulatory, legal, and even logical/ethical constraints, opening the door to an army of fraudsters, large and small criminal cartels, cybercriminals, thieves, spies, blackmailers. and all other vices.

Both legal players and all kinds of criminals under the sun are sure to try to take advantage of the obvious benefits of anonymity, combined with the luxury of extended presence and access, allowing fraudsters to spread their malicious nets far and wide in search of victims – naive, uninitiated, old and impressionable.

For the vultures of the digital age, this will be the Internet on steroids. There will be many temptations. The world will literally become a playground for every scammer around the world. Vulnerable believers of all faiths will be gathered in super-mega virtual gatherings, subjected to conscious and subconscious indoctrination on a scale hitherto unknown, and perhaps separated from their hard-earned money by super-sophisticated tools of emotional and behavioral engineering.

Buyers and merchants of every imaginable commodity will meet each other in an environment that will blur the boundaries between physical and virtual, and criminals will have a whole new playground for their illegal operations of money laundering, pornography, human trafficking, facilitating the transfer of counterfeit goods, disinformation, psychological warfare , intelligence gathering, transmission and dissemination – all aimed at making quick profits or serving an ideology, causing pain and suffering to many unsuspecting and unprepared victims.

The game is not a game

The gaming industry – a growing giant guaranteed to grow in size with the help of new metaverse technologies – is already seen as an “easy money laundering conduit”. Turkey is involved in e-sports and the transfer of gaming funds designed to hide the financial transactions of terrorist organizations. The integration of cryptocurrencies into the infrastructure of the metaverse will create a real (not virtual) dreamland for everything related to money laundering – on a large and small scale.

If the past can be relied upon, then legitimate state players, regulators, and law enforcement agencies around the world will be playing ball for years with hordes of metaverse criminals who will simply walk away from every plugged hole to exploit the next loophole.

Add to that the recently exploded NFT (non-playable token) market, where digital encrypted codes are used to demarcate real goods, opening the door to another huge, unregulated and hard-to-track and control market where trillions of dollars of clandestine transactions could potentially take place, along with conventional a horde of scammers that necessarily accompanies the smell of untraceable money.

Is the metaverse a favorite place for terrorists?

Terrorists will no doubt flock to the metaverse, as it promises to be a rich source of potential recruits, operational capabilities, and funds. The Metaverse will expand the reach and influence of online recruiters, help them fine-tune their message to optimize impact, and help them precisely press every button in the psyche of their targets.

Once the apprentice has been recruited, the metaverse will be able to facilitate the planning, coordination, and execution of terrorist acts around the world; Metaverse technologies will be very useful in preparing terrorists for missions, including allowing them to reconnoiter targets before they are carried out with fantastic resolution – as if they were in person on the spot.

They will be able to train, practice, refine schedules and scenarios from the comfort of their hiding place. After the operation is completed, you can select, study, work out and control evacuation routes – virtually, before starting work and transferring everything to reality.

As the scope, size, and complexity of the metaverse grows, terrorists will have a new set of targets – both virtual and real. As people get used to “living” their lives in virtual space, terrorists will be able to attack such spaces and achieve economic and psychological goals without firing a single bullet or detonating a single charge. Cyberterrorism will take on a whole new definition under the roof of the metaverse.

Government and commercial intelligence agencies, including China, North Korea and Russia, and of course Meta, Amazon and Google, are already investing time and resources in studying and exploring the operational boundaries of the coming interface between reality and virtuality in order to gather more information about everyone and everything. everyone.

Of course, there are many potential positives to the metaverse, and they are likely to be used by many, to their advantage and to the advantage of the commercial companies that will compete for their money. But if governments, regulators and communities do not allocate resources and pay attention to how to deal with the underbelly of this new technological revolution, many will surely suffer greatly as victims. Victims will suffer financially, emotionally and psychologically, and the consequences will spread from individuals to entire communities. It’s time to pay attention and prepare.

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