...Some marketers and technology observers are predicting explosive growth in the use of virtual worlds in coming years. As more people create avatars, it will become harder to identify bad guys, intelligence officials said. As in the real world, one of the central difficulties is establishing the identities of people
Pundits like to predict the future as that one did recently in an article about the dangers of virtual worlds, security, increased intelligence and blah blah.
If you want to understand this from the literature, find, buy or rent a copy of the 1960s sci-fi-spy series, "The Prisoner" produced by and starring Patrick McGoohan. Called by some "TV's first masterpiece", it is tragi-comic depiction of the struggles of a secret agent man taken by forces unknown to a prison for people who have 'too much information'. This prison, The Village, is described by its keepers as a perfect society where conformity is enforced by any means and information gained by any means "hook or crook" is the currency of the captors.
Pay very good attention to the interplay of statements between the hero, Number Six and the ever changing villain, "Number Two". I won't claim the end of the series makes much sense, but then that may be McGoohan's point. Charles Goldfarb once said to me, "The biggest con job done on moderns is the idea that they are free." The Prisoner explores this myth of individual freedom and the right to "mind one's own business". The series alone would make a very good 'virtual world game', and playing it, a training exercise for things to come... or already here and if not unrealized, unspoken.