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Along the lines of the current NSA scandal

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posted on Jan, 4 2006 @ 12:47 AM
I can't speak for the majority of ATSers when I say I am a huge video gamer. I have seen through BTS that there are a bunch of us out there! Contrary to popular belief and the preachings of Jack Thompson video games are not the devil, and they do not rot your mind.

With that said, given the recent uproar over the Bush NSA spy scandal, I felt it would be important to bring this article up with the ATS community.
BBC article on "Warden"

A quick snippet:

Home invasion

The watchdog program, called The Warden by Blizzard, has been known about among players for some time.

It makes sure that players are not using cheat software which can, for example, automatically play the game and build up a character's qualities. However, knowledge of it crossed to the mainstream thanks to software engineer Greg Hoglund who disassembled the code of The Warden and watched it in action to get a better idea of what it did.

He found that it performed a quick analysis on other programs running on a PC to see if their characteristics match known cheating programs. But Mr Hoglund found that The Warden also scans the text in the title bars of any Window for any other program. Mr Hoglund said: "I watched The Warden sniff down the e-mail addresses of people I was communicating with on MSN, the URL of several websites that I had open at the time, and the names of all my running programs."

Now if you're an avid WoW (World of Warcraft) player, like myself, you may or may not have known that this debate has been raging in the general forums of the WoW site for quite some time. I'd like to know where the ATS community stands on programs like these, as there have been more than just "The Warden" enforced on video game players all over.

Is this not just as bad as the type of unauthorized and illegal spying performed against the American people by the NSA? I for one feel it is, as it violates a gamers sense of trust and fun that he holds with the people of the company who produce the game. For those that don't know, WoW is an MMORPG, which basically means you pay a monthly fee to play the game.

I for one am not paying 30 dollars bi-monthly to be unknowingly spied upon. How do you feel about this?

posted on Jan, 4 2006 @ 08:15 AM
I did not know about this. My question is can you sue them for it?I am not saying it's ok to use cheats. I have never used them , and today when I logged on and seen everyone crying about how none of there cheats was working with the new patch. I just smiled to myself and thought thats what they get for cheating. But I really think I have the right for them not to invade my privacy. This is plan wrong! I pay to play not to be spied on. This is like the phone company easydropping on your phone calls.Something has to be done about this. And now that I think about it. It could be the reason for all the dang lag as of lately, sigh and here I was thinking that it was to many ppl playing the on the servers. Silly me

posted on Jan, 4 2006 @ 09:16 AM
Mr. Hoglund, the one who discovered Warden and showed it to the world, has a program called "The Governor" which will monitor Warden and tell you what it's spying on.

Unfortuneately, to my knowledge, if you want to play the game theres no way of disabling or limiting Warden. We have no choice, no say.

posted on Jan, 5 2006 @ 12:09 PM
I doubt the window title monitoring is anything truly nefarious, at least in its original intent. A lot of the video game cheats for FPS games (and so, I would imagine, MMOGs as well) need to run in a separate window from the game itself and modify the game's environment on the fly. The alternative to this would be to actually change the game's files directly, and most online games run file consistancy checks at launch to guard against tricks like that.

So, at least the original intent of the Warden would be to scan for the common program titles in open windows. Now, this is something of a stop-gap measure, as Blizzard's programmers are always going to have to react to the cheats' programmers' tactics. In fact, it should be simple enough to include with the MMOG cheat program another program that would let you insert custom text in the window title section, which would defeat the Warden entirely.

posted on Apr, 21 2011 @ 11:14 AM
At first I also thought that it was not such a big deal too. But now I have some doubts that it is still being used exclusively for anti cheating perposes. These stories I found awhile back make me think that now it has another more Orwellion perpose too. I think that Big Brother government is also using the Wardon to spy on people too.

Have any of you heard of the Raynard project?

According to the following article from, it is a data mineing project designed to monitor virtual worlds. The goal is profiling online gaming behavior and I qoute form the article: then move on to its ultimate goal of automaticaly detacting suspicious behaviour and actions in the virtual world.

The article link is here:

There is even some justification to this project too in the form of a theroetical terrorist conspiracy that takes place in the world of warcraft according to this article on the same site:

This suggests that through the use of code words and double meanings, terrorists can plot attacks on real world targets like in the given example: The White House.

Also this wired article indicates that a bioterrorist attack could in theroy be simulated in these online games as well:

Plus it also refers to an article talking about how scientists say that these virtual worlds could provide real world behavioral data in a simulated in game pandemic.

These 4 articles suggest that Big Brother is watching online games.

This one from talks about the detention of a wow player that was suspectecd of being involved in the cyber attacks on major websites durring the wikileaks controversy.

This one talks about a drug runner who fled to canada. But big bother managed to track him down in WoW.

This one talks about how big brother catches this female online predator through her WoW chat logs.

And finally this one talks about how a wow player in Indianapolis who was arrested and detained after using the in game chat to say that he was going to blow up a plane. The moderators notified big brother and turned him in.

Recently this one appeared on fragworld a video game blog:

The FBI raided the apartment of 2 collage students to investigate "potentially fraudulent sales or purchases of virtual currency that people use to advance in the popular online role-playing game World of Warcraft."
The article goes on to mention that although this might be just simple fraud, these types of transactions and practices could possibly have far reaching implications, even to financing terrorist cells and organizations.

All these articles suggest that the wardon with its spyware capabilitys can be used in a mass survailence program. Also it shows that if the government wants to, if they are not already doing it (which I think they are.), they can turn online gaming into an electronic police state.

posted on Jun, 27 2016 @ 04:55 PM
The NSA regularly uses Online gaming for the purpose of manipulation and "mind control". They even made a south park episode about it. That is "Make love not Warcraft"

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