Feeds

Virtual FBI jackboots to march into Sadville?

FBI probing virtual gambling in virtual world

High performance access to file storage

House of Cards Virtual regulation of the avatar community from the DOJ could be on the way, as Linden Labs has invited the FBI to probe gambling in Linden Dollars on the popular avatar playspace, legitimizing concerns expressed on Sadville blogs after the passage of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) last year.

According to a Reuters report the FBI is investigating the legality of the virtual casinos that have proven to be some of the most popular destinations in avatar land - maybe because the rest of Sadville is so boring.

The explosion of virtual currencies has raised law enforcement concerns around the world, primarily due to money laundering and the other criminal possibilities presented, but to a lesser extent over ideological issues of economic control. Linden Dollars currently trade at 264 to 1 with old-fashioned greenbacks.

"We have invited the FBI several times to take a look around in Second Life and raise any concerns they would like, and we know of at least one instance that federal agents did look around in a virtual casino," said Ginsu Yoon, formerly Linden Lab's general counsel and the current VP for business affairs.

Linden Labs could find itself in violation of a host of federal laws that cover interstate gambling and currency transactions, including such DOJ favorites as the Wire Act, the Illegal Gambling Business Act, the UIGEA, and possibly even the Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act.

The federal anti-gambling statutes only require that there be an element of chance and that something of value be wagered. A convertible virtual currency like the Linden Dollar seems to qualify. And what's really the difference between a Sadville casino and an online casino like Bodog.com? Both exist only online, and both trade funds as electronic data packets. Why is one a problem and not the other?

Could virtual prosecutions be next? Or virtual FBI agents kicking down virtual doors? The mind spins.

This game might actually get exciting. We'll keep you posted. ®

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Lavabit loses contempt of court appeal over protecting Snowden, customers
Judges rule complaints about government power are too little, too late
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Don't let no-hire pact suit witnesses call Steve Jobs a bullyboy, plead Apple and Google
'Irrelevant' character evidence should be excluded – lawyers
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Whoever you vote for, Google gets in
Report uncovers giant octopus squid of lobbying influence
Putin tells Snowden: Russia conducts no US-style mass surveillance
Gov't is too broke for that, Russian prez says
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
Alphadex fires back at British Gas with overcharging allegation
Brit colo outfit says it paid for 347KVA, has been charged for 1940KVA
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.