PlayStation 4 gamers' chat to be monitored by anti-terror agents, says Italian minister Andrea Orlando

The move comes after Belgian authorities said Paris attackers could have used it to communicate

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The Independent Online

The Italian government will monitor communications among users of the "chat" feature on PlayStation 4.

Justice Minister Andrea Orlando told Il Messaggero that the Sony games console’s messaging system could be used by terrorists to plot attacks.

He said they would invest €150m (£106m) in reforming information and security services within the year.

Mr Orlando said: "The internet offers numerous opportunities for communication and counter-terrorism investigations have reported that PlayStation could also be a tool used, so any form of communication should be monitored."

Just before a string of co-ordinated terror attacks in Paris which left 130 people dead, Belgium’s Federal Home Affairs Minister Jan Jambon warned intelligence services had discovered a hidden recruitment channel placed in the games console.

He said: "PlayStation 4 is even more difficult to keep track of than WhatsApp."

It comes as Italian security authorities are said to be on high alert ahead of the beginning of the Vatican’s "Jubilee Year" on 8 December- which will see an expected 25 million Catholic pilgrims travelling to Rome to seek the remission of their sins.

Andrea Orlando announced the move amid fears about security in Rome ahead of the Vatican's Jubilee Year

The day after the Paris attacks, Italy announced it would send an extra 700 troops during the year long holy festival.

Speaking to a local Italian TV station, TG1, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Paolo Gentiloni, said the city had a "symbolic propaganda value" for Isis.

He said: "So far our intelligence and security forces have worked very well but we cannot underestimate the threat."