SOCA: Cons' consoles causing crime
Banged-up bosses using games machines to run crime empires
The Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) has alleged that prisoners are using games consoles to run their illegal empires. Its claim hasn't pleased Her Majesty's Prison Service.
Speaking at the launch of its annual report, SOCA Director General Bill Hughes said the Agency has obtained intelligence that indicates crime lords are operating multi-million pound empires from behind bars by giving out orders through internet games.
Hughes' alleged that some cons tap out coded words in game chat rooms - a feature that many popular titles support nowadays.
The organisation also claimed that prisoners recharge smuggled mobile phones using consoles' USB ports.
The Prison Service strongly rejected SOCA’s allegations. “Prisoners have never been allowed access to wireless enabled technology such as that used in some games consoles,” said a Prison Service spokesman.
The latest machines are banned because of their integral wireless capabilities, he told the Times.
Prisoners are allowed access to the internet, though – hopefully through a heavily monitored and restricted PC. ®
@ Eh? AC
the European Court of Human Rights, I guess...
Anyway, back to the article
recharging phones off consoles- plausible. If they aren't, I'd be surprised.
prisoners sending out commands using online gaming when they're stuck without internet connectivity- implausible. Though not impossible (there's gotta be some way to do it- directional WiFi from a building nearby and a smuggled-in dongle? Satellite uplink (though this'd be a bit bulky)?)
prisoners smuggling in "modern" mobile phones that can be used as modems to allow internet connectivity, recharging said mobiles/modems from USB ports? If I was locked up and had an empire to run, I'd try it.
Given that you can fit a GPRS modem comfortably into a watch it'd not be difficult to sneak one into a prison. A few minutes with a screwdriver and some chewing gum (guessing there'd be an absence of solder) would be all you'd need to have an always-powered, almost untraceable connection to the Internet. You're not going to be a world-class TF2 player over that connection, but it'd certainly be possible to get messages in and out.
Whatever, the point is that there should be no EM traffic from the cells in the mobile phone bands. So a detector could be employed to allow the Screws to confiscate mobiles in use- or alternatively get the carriers to decrypt the traffic for the police so they can find out who's running what.
Good to see the problems being highlighted, though.
As long as it's not wireless...
...we've got nothing to worry about. Apparently.
Yeah, but what will they *do* with all the gold and magic weapons when they get out of jail and have something else to do apart from sit in front of a computer all day?
If they're not supposed to have phones, who gave them internet access?
Anonymously, cos they probably know where I live!