Company suspends accounts of foul-mouthed Xbox gamers
Paul Joseph Watson
November 27, 2013
After it was revealed that Microsoft was suspending the Skype accounts of Xbox gamers who used bad language, the company was forced to deny that it was monitoring Skype conversations.
Xbox users complained that Microsoft was banning them from using Skype or the Xbox Upload Studio because of “past behavior.” The censorship stemmed from the company targeting people who used bad language in their uploaded videos.
“Kinect likes to listen to you. It’s a big part of the console’s appeal. But it doesn’t like to hear your swears. At least not in Upload Studio, the Xbox One service that lets you share gameplay clips (with non-profane voiceover!) with friends, and save those clips to your SkyDrive. If you’ve got a dirty mouth, you can run into trouble,” reports Gizmodo.
Some Xbox users expressed concern at why Microsoft was applying the ban to Skype accounts when accessed via the Xbox console, leading to fears that the company was monitoring their private conversations, prompting a statement from Microsoft;
“To be clear, the Xbox Live Policy & Enforcement team does not monitor direct peer-to-peer communications like Skype chats and calls. Also, we take Code of Conduct moderation via Upload Studio very seriously. We want a clean, safe and fun environment for all users. Excessive profanity as well as other Code of Conduct violations will be enforced upon and result in suspension of some or all privileges on Xbox Live. We remain committed to preserving and promoting a safe, secure and enjoyable experience for all of our Xbox Live members.”
However, a respondent to the Gizmodo article points out that one of the bans was applied for someone solely using Skype, remarking, “So yes they are listening, or someone complained about the persons behavior.”
In suspending people for using bad language in video uploads, Microsoft is imposing censorship well beyond the likes of YouTube, which does not even age-restrict videos that contain swearing.
Although Microsoft is moving towards encrypting all its Internet traffic due to “suspicions that the NSA is intercepting traffic within its private networks,” the company was deeply embroiled in the NSA wiretapping scandal, allowing the snooping agency backdoor access to spy on users of its services.
In May it emerged that Microsoft “regularly scans (Skype) message contents for signs of fraud.” As the Edward Snowden leaks confirmed, Skype audio conversations “can be wiretapped by American intelligence agencies,” despite previously having been considered resistant to interception.
As we reported last week, Microsoft also denied claims that the new Xbox One’s Kinect camera could see gamers’ genitals after video footage emerged which suggested the device’s IR camera was so sophisticated that it could capture the outline of a user’s penis.
The Xbox One’s array of microphones and video cameras can distinguish between six different voices in a room while responding to voice commands and reading skeletal and muscular movements. The device can even tell if someone is looking at or away from the television.