Oct 20, 2019 | Updated: 10:42 AM EDT

The Role Of Tech In World Events

Nov 16, 2015 02:47 AM EST

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Tech plays a major role in connecting countries. Beyond paving the way for friends and family to communicate across the miles, tech enabled businesses to coordinate and thrive across the oceans. Tech is a very powerful force, which could be used for good or evil. In the attacks on Paris this weekend, tech was used powerfully in both evil and good ways.

First, the evil ways that tech was used in the Paris attacks:

A rather unexpected gadget helped terrorists coordinate the Paris attacks this weekend: The Playstation 4.

According to a report by GEEK.com, the terrorist network responsible for the attacks in France used the Playstation 4 in coordinating their mission. According to a Forbes.com report, on the other hand, the practice isn’t new. The Forbes.com report mentioned that Edward Snowden released information that the CIA and NSA infiltrated terrorist networks through the World of Warcraft game. The built-in communications system for multiplayer games, the Playstation Network, allows messages to be sent in between players so that their gaming teams can coordinate their strategies and plans of attack. Apparently, terrorists have been repurposing the function for real-world attacks.

As of this writing, raids through the Playstation Network have been conducted in Brussels, Belgium, apprehending some of the suspected terrorists. Some of the terrorists responsible for the attacks are based in the area.

Of course, after the attacks, tech also played a part in helping to do a lot of good in the midst of overwhelming evil. Telecom companies Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon offered reduced-rate calls to France after the attacks. Skype also joined the companies in helping to connect families by providing free calls to both landlines and mobile phones in France. On “regular” days, Skype requires the purchase of credits in order for users to call landlines and mobiles. Skype hasn’t set a deadline as to when calls to landlines and mobile phones in France will require Skype Credit again.

Indeed, while technology is a neutral force, it can be used for great evil or great good. The case in point is the recent tragedy in France. For the tech companies that choose to sow good in these times, their generosity will truly make a difference in the victims’ lives.

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Android Police with the announcement on the telecom companies’ generosity in light of the terrorist attacks on France: http://www.androidpolice.com/2015/11/15/verizon-t-mobile-sprint-and-skype-also-offer-free-or-reduced-cost-calls-to-france-after-paris-attacks/

The GEEK.com report on the use of the PS4 for the terrorist attacks on France: http://www.geek.com/news/paris-terrorists-suspected-of-using-playstation-4-to-communicate-1639536/

Forbes.com’s insight on the Paris attacks: http://www.forbes.com/sites/insertcoin/2015/11/14/why-the-paris-isis-terrorists-used-ps4-to-plan-attacks/

Mic.com’s report on the PS4 link to the Paris attacks: http://mic.com/articles/128601/terrorists-may-have-used-play-station-4s-to-plan-isis-paris-attacks-here-s-how#.4ehMicIJO

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