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10-12-2011, 09:47 AM #1
According to CT magazine, Origin is not spyware.
http://www.heise.de/artikel-archiv/ct/2011/25/42_kiosk - Thanks to Subatomic. Unfortunately it is in German. My copy is in Dutch...
Basically, they monitored a version of Origin using Process Monitor. Their results were that Origin only scans its own folder. When Origin scans other things, such as programdata and the registery, this is not actually Origin at work. It is Windows working trough Origin, who always does scans like that when a program makes an HTTPS connection. It does this to check if all the certificates for HTTPS connections are still in order.
CT magezine also noted that Origin does not automatically detect any EA games already installed on your computer, and the only way to add games to Origin is to enter their respective CD key. They subsequently cracked an EA game and luanched it trough Origin, which worked just fine.
The conclusion was that no data is ever collected by origin. No extensive study of the connection between Origin and the EA servers was done, because a program dat does not collect data can not send it.
Last edited by Grizzly; 10-12-2011 at 04:12 PM.
10-12-2011, 10:29 AM #2
But... but... but everyone says it's spyware! Therefore it must be true.
About time someone actually looked at what was going on, instead of pointing to things in the EULA and relying on the old "EA is evil" chestnut.
10-12-2011, 10:39 AM #3
How many mandatory automatic updates would it take for it to become spyware?
10-12-2011, 10:52 AM #4
The bottom line is that you have to ask yourself "How does Origin benefit me?", and then work out for yourself if those benefits are worth the risk of having dealings with a company like EA.
From my own point of view, that answer is fairly obvious. Origin appears to be a marketing/DRM tool that EA are trying to shoehorn onto my system entirely for their own benefit, and none of mine.
10-12-2011, 10:59 AM #5
I'm actually pro origin just because I like retail activations, I no longer buy discs I can't just throw away. But I do not socialise on the forums or get too attached to multiplayer support unless games that are called battlefield .
10-12-2011, 02:31 PM #6
Origin, Steam etc. aren't there for your benefit. They're there to give publishers/developers some sort of control over their products once they're in the wild. The most practical system in terms of benefits to the end-user is no DRM, no disc check, internet connection only needed for multiplayer/online features (such as leaderboards) and for patches to be distributed via long-life download sites (GamersHell, FileFront, et al). Steamworks, Origin, Games for Windows Live, SecuROM, Tagés, UbiDRM, UPlay - All of them affect us in some way negatively. Steam is not fully functional at the best of times, GfWL causes issues for many people, Ubi's always-on system needs no explanation, Origin is just another bit of software sitting around, and so on.
There is no practical and ideal solution. Whereas CDProjekt, as an example, are noble in their intent, it's currently not seen as a practical or sustainable system. Obviously we'd all disagree with that and with good reason, but to the majority of the publishers/distributors, putting DRM-free games out there is a shocking thought.
10-12-2011, 02:46 PM #7
Origin are no different, they're the exact same concept. Except one is EA and apparently automatically evil, while one is Valve and therefore automatically good. As you point out they're still DRM methods and serve the company's best interests, not ours. I can't really think of much that Steam does in a superior fashion to Origin, except that Origin's UI still has teething problems. But it's brand new, it's to be expected. Steam was abysmal when it was first released, it was borderline useless and universally hated. Also people were infuriated when Valve decided to flick off WON and insisted everyone who wanted to play online had to use Steam. But we got used to it, and no amount of complaining or boycotting changed that.
Originally Posted by Taidan
Let me ask you a question though. If I put Origin under watch for a day or so, looking to see what traffic it was handling and what it was doing, and reported back that Origin wasn't do anything, would you believe me that, at least in its current state, Origin is harmless? Or would you insist that it isn't? Likewise if I did the same to Steam and noticed it dealing with suspicious traffic or IO activities, would you label it spyware?
10-12-2011, 02:46 PM #8
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- Nov 2011
The c't-magazine is one if not the most respected computer magazines in Germany, with a long history of supporting consumer rights and internet privacy and have uncovered a number of scandals in these fields over the years. So if they say Origin doesn't spy, I tend to believe them.
10-12-2011, 04:19 PM #9
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- Jun 2011
10-12-2011, 04:57 PM #10
Did you hear that they half-lost against Namco Bandai in court, too? They were found to have caused damages to NB, so they have to pay some sum in compensation or whatever. See, even CDProjekt aren't faultless.
10-12-2011, 05:31 PM #11
Origin a fraudulent public key which your MitM can decrypt, but I doubt that it's willing to accept that fraudulent key (running strings on the .exe seems to indicate that it might check for that kind of thing).
Either way, most of what I know is that it makes a connection with the webstore (HTTPS), and that it connects to chat.dm.origin.com (XMPP) using your account's numerical ID to log you in to the chat service. I think they're doing some extra stuff somewhere, because connecting using a standard XMPP client (I've tried it with Pidgin) disconnects you after a while, even though you're able to use the chat functionality as expected. There must be some kind of keep-alive signal that the Origin client sends to the chat service, but I haven't figured out what that all is since it's all encrypted.
11-12-2011, 12:22 AM #12
11-12-2011, 12:29 AM #13
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- Jun 2011
I had kinda expected someone to already have posted the gist of the article. Huh.
I'm currently sitting in bed without my stack of c't in reach, but I shall hunt down the relevant issue tomorrow and post a tl;dr
11-12-2011, 12:42 AM #14
I prefer a company not being very vocal about things like that. It seems much more honest and open, strangely enough.
11-12-2011, 01:04 AM #15
11-12-2011, 11:57 AM #16
Topic on the Witcher 2 forums. They lost with regards to the distribution of the 360 version (with quite a hefty fine attached), but won on the subject of NB trying to force them to re-add the DRM to the PC version, but I can't find anything beyond posts from July (when the lawsuit became known) which suggests they were reprimanded for it.
So, for all their good PR and attitude, they really can't do shit. Buggy games that seem to necessitate a 2.0 version (Yeah, fine with TW:EE, but for The Witcher 2? Starting to look a little fishy to me), constant pissing off of their distributors, absolutely stunning attitude towards pirates - I'm actually starting to wonder if supporting CDP/CDPR is a good idea.
11-12-2011, 01:01 PM #17
The whole 'it's spyware!!' talk was alarmist bullshit spread by internet game journalists who are more interested in the short term of page hits Vs maintaining a credible reputation. The fallout unfortunately is that a lot of people take this Fox News style reporting seriously, and subsequently every week we get declarations of 'Orign = no sale' whenever there's an article on EA. It would be nice to see a 'Origin is not spyware after all' mea culpa article on a few prominent sites, but of course that's never going to happen.Why yes you're right I'm deliciously evil
Tradition is the tyranny of dead men
Steam:Kadayi Origin: Kadayi GFWL: Kadayi
*blush* I'm flattered by the attention boys, but please let's not make the thread about liddle old me
Their early work was a little too new wave for my tastes....
11-12-2011, 09:16 PM #18So, for all their good PR and attitude, they really can't do shit. Buggy games that seem to necessitate a 2.0 version (Yeah, fine with TW:EE, but for The Witcher 2? Starting to look a little fishy to me), constant pissing off of their distributors, absolutely stunning attitude towards pirates - I'm actually starting to wonder if supporting CDP/CDPR is a good idea.
11-12-2011, 09:38 PM #19
11-12-2011, 09:44 PM #20
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- Jun 2011
Fact is I only added the BF3 Beta, BF3 Retail and SWTOR Pre-Order Key manually, Bad Company 2 added itself after a Scan, in its entirety with Key/Product Code and everything.