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Microsoft unaware of NSA mass surveillance of Xbox LIVE, done without consent

Microsoft says any spying by the NSA on Xbox LIVE users is being done without its knowledge or consent. (Microsoft)

The latest accusations of spying Monday from the classified documents taken by Edward Snowden put the gaming world in the spotlight. According to the documents, not only did the NSA and its British counter-part have agents scouring the World of Warcraft and Second Life but the Guardian claimed that the spy agencies were performing mass surveillance against Xbox LIVE users as well.

"The agencies, the documents show, have built mass-collection capabilities against the Xbox Live console network, which has more than 48 million players," the Guardian wrote in its piece.

We contacted Microsoft for a statement regarding this accusation and received the following statement in return.

"We’re not aware of any surveillance activity" a Microsoft spokesperson responded. "If it has occurred as reported, it certainly wasn’t done with our consent."

A Blizzard Entertainment made a similar comment about World of Warcraft.

"We are unaware of any surveillance taking place," said a spokesman for Blizzard Entertainment. "If it was, it would have been done without our knowledge or permission."

Microsoft, Google, Facebook and five other major tech companies launched a Reform Government Surveillance website Monday calling on the United States government to put new limits on the amount and types of surveillance that the government can perform online.

"We urge the US to take the lead and make reforms that ensure that government surveillance efforts are clearly restricted by law, proportionate to the risks, transparent and subject to independent oversight," the companies wrote in a joint statement to the President and Congress.

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