Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Cheating at America's Army is a Cybercrime

A person, claiming to be a developer for the military recruitment game America's Army has made a posting in their forum that the government is cracking down on the game's cheaters.

"Our bans last week came without notice and took the bad guys by surprise. They don’t know the extend of what we know, and moreover how we know it. For example, we have the means to detect bad guy activities that I know the bad guys do not know we can detect. That’s the way we want it, too – while we haven’t banned them yet, we’re using them to collect more data, track down their friends, and their friends, and learn more as we discover new behavior."

Get that? So if you're an America's Army player and have a friend who's a player, and that person knows someone who cheats at America's Army, you might be justified in expecting government monitoring of your actions.

"Some of you (and clearly the bad guys are among them) don’t always remember that this game, and all accounts and derivative products, are the property of the United States Army. When you tamper with the game, not only are you breaking the EULA you’re misusing Army property – and, worse, you’re misusing US Army computer programs and equipment.

"Tampering with software and servers owned or used by the Army is cyber crime."

So now cheating at an online game is a cybercrime and presumably related to terrorism in some way. Cheating in online games is indeed a real problem. But I'm not sure that the kids who cheat at America's Army are in the same league as real terrorists who commit cybercrime.


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