Potential Blizzard Spyware.

Ever read the long, drawn out EULA (End-User License Agreement) before a PC game is first started or installed? Most of us don,t, and we merely click the “I agree” button to get on with the game. That may not be such a great idea as that legal statement may have things that we,re “agreeing” to that we may not be aware of. Case in point: some fans of the MMORPG, “World of Warcraft”, have been complaining of a program installed in the software that acts as a “sniffer” program. The software runs in the background of a gamer,s computer and looks for illegal hack or cheat programs. If the sniffer finds any of these things, it alerts Blizzard, the publisher of the game. They in turn, shut down the user,s online account. What is this tracking program called? We,re not joking, but it is called, “The Warden.” How,s that for making you feel warm and fuzzy? The Electronic Frontier Foundation, a digital rights activist organization, says that the inclusion of the program in World of Warcraft constitutes a “massive invasion of privacy.” Blizzard believes it has good reason to have “The Warden” on its game because of the rampant cheating and hacking that is so familiar in the world of online gaming. Blizzard says that the sniffer program gathers no personal information about the gamer, but only tracks down illegal cheats and hacks. This makes sense, to a certain degree, as the game publisher is trying to eliminate the cheaters from an otherwise, honest game environment. If our local government decided to place a web-cam in our homes to make sure we weren,t doing anything illegal; that would raise the hackles of everyone in the country. But if this is the case, there are those who are asking how this is any different from the snifferware programs installed by software manufacturers on our computers? The EFF thinks that they,ve got a case against Blizzard. The storm clouds may be forming for a real legal blizzard, if the case is valid.


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Author: GamerNode Staff View all posts by

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