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    Community Member Cedrica-the-Bard's Avatar
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    Default MMO's and the NSA

    I'm not sure if this should be posted here or in the Off Topic. But regardless, I would really like to know if the NSA can monitor the voice chat on DDO and the messages? My guess is that they can't. But I'm not technically savvy enough to know how it all works. So, I'm asking the question. What do you all think?

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    Community Member nikos1313's Avatar
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    if they can monitor your switched off phone, why they try monitor your voice chat in a game?! anywayaz, i believe that if they want, they can, and they r prolly doin it atm!
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    The Hatchery CThruTheEgo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cedrica-the-Bard View Post
    I'm not sure if this should be posted here or in the Off Topic. But regardless, I would really like to know if the NSA can monitor the voice chat on DDO and the messages? My guess is that they can't. But I'm not technically savvy enough to know how it all works. So, I'm asking the question. What do you all think?
    Are you considering using voice chat to plot a coup or something?

    Oh, and I don't know if your little plot can be discovered this way or not, sorry.
    Totally Bass Ackwards ~ int based/heavy armored pure tempest<>The Count of Monte Cristo ~ dps/CC/survivability focused pure swashbuckler<>Santa's Little Slayer ~ dragonmarked elf centered kensai<>Hassan's Assassin ~ 76 DC/dps/survivability focused human assassin<>Dubbell O'Seven ~ casting/ranged WF artificer

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    Community Member Charononus's Avatar
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    They've been able to listen/read whatever they want since the late 90's with carnivore, the technology has just gotten better so it's easier for them to do now. Nothing you transmit over an electronic medium has been private for at least 15 years.

  5. #5
    2014 DDO Players Council Flavilandile's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cedrica-the-Bard View Post
    I'm not sure if this should be posted here or in the Off Topic. But regardless, I would really like to know if the NSA can monitor the voice chat on DDO and the messages? My guess is that they can't. But I'm not technically savvy enough to know how it all works. So, I'm asking the question. What do you all think?
    Definitely, if they wanted to.

    There's already ways to dump the combat log in a text file, so dumping any other chat in a text file can be done.

    Add to that the fact that Turbine servers are hosted by PNAP ( and are not as such directly under Turbine control ) you can be almost certain that there's some kind of monitoring.

    Quote Originally Posted by nikos1313 View Post
    if they can monitor your switched off phone, why they try monitor your voice chat in a game?! anywayaz, i believe that if they want, they can, and they r prolly doin it atm!
    They can't track a mobile turned off. A mobile phone can only be tracked either through the network asking it to report ( SRI/SRI-ACK, that's what is used by emergency services and the police to locate a phone ) or when it changes from one cell to another ( Location Update, this part is always on, as it's a basic function of a cellular network, the ntwork needs to know where the phone is ). In both case several methods can be used CGI, CGI+TA, A-GPS or in layman term : Cell ID, Cell ID + Time Shift, Assisted GPS [only available on the GPS chip equipped phones ].

    Quote Originally Posted by Charononus View Post
    They've been able to listen/read whatever they want since the late 90's with carnivore, the technology has just gotten better so it's easier for them to do now. Nothing you transmit over an electronic medium has been private for at least 15 years.
    You're optimistic... All the public exchanges in the world have maintenance commands that allow an operator to listen in to any call... and they have had that for more than 20 years.

    Oh, and I won't even go into something called Lawful Interception...

    All in all if they want to listen to your electronic noise, they will be able to do it, and you won't notice it.
    Last edited by Flavilandile; 06-23-2013 at 01:42 PM.
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    Chat is clear text... The voice services are hosted by a 3rd party, so most likely they can be monitored quite easily.

    That said... if you want secure anything, you have to go TOR, and use private encryption keys, with open sources software that you can confirm there are no back doors.



    Quote Originally Posted by Flavilandile View Post
    There's already ways to dump the combat log in a text file, so dumping any other chat in a text file can be done.
    How can you dump the combat log? I FREAKING HATE the lack of a logging function!

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by 350zguy View Post
    How can you dump the combat log? I FREAKING HATE the lack of a logging function!
    Yes, please share. Would it dump a combat log to text consistently? I'd love a script that would parse and write DPS in real-time.
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    The Hatchery Paleus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cedrica-the-Bard View Post
    I'm not sure if this should be posted here or in the Off Topic. But regardless, I would really like to know if the NSA can monitor the voice chat on DDO and the messages? My guess is that they can't. But I'm not technically savvy enough to know how it all works. So, I'm asking the question. What do you all think?
    Short Answer: Yes. Short Question: Why?

    No seriously, why? Is DDO secretly hosting a community of malcontents that are dangerous to the public welfare? Wait, don't answer that one.

    Instead, in the old tradition of the forum's parlance let me say the following if you are just now coming to the realization that you are being observed by government, corporations, friends, family, etc in this digital age. Hi, welcome! But rest assured, odds are highly in your favor that no one cares and you're just an aggregate data point, at least for now. Just...you know, don't make any sudden motions ok?
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    i'll be putting a bug into our system.

  9. #9
    Community Member Hendrik's Avatar
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    This type of thing has been going on longer then most of the people that are playing DDO have been alive.


    There is no going back.

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    I heard the devs hate all wizards, bards, clerics, fighters, and fuzzy bunnies and only want us to play halfling barbarian/paladin shuriken specialists!

    It's totally true, I have a reliable source. You better reroll now.
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    Community Member FlaviusMaximus's Avatar
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    I'm sure they could, but god knows they don't care what you little nerdlings are up to.

    You have to keep in mind that for each one of you who is delusional enough to think somebody cares about the uninteresting garbage that cascades out of your mouths, there has to be a person employed by the government who is taking the time to record or listen to your idle chatter. There isn't enough money or manpower in this world to keep up with all the people who think their nonsense is for some reason being monitored. And more importantly, there is no reason to listen in on DDO conversations. For the love of god, I turn off voice sound half the time when I'm in groups because it literally makes me stupider to hear it. I'm glad you all think the sun revolves around you though.

  11. #11
    Community Member msdesign's Avatar
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    I believe it is technically possible, but....

    If they are really doing so, I'm just thinking:

    1. Chat logs are small text based files. Voice chat logs would generate larger audio files. Multiply that for the number of players using voice chat. Multiply that for the several game servers. And multiply that for the number of online games with integrated voice chat (I mean, why only monitor DDO?). Where would they store all these files? Ok, maybe a very big computer network with terabytes and hexabytes of data.

    2. In case they are not saving audio files anywhere (and maybe if they are), they need some people to actually hear the conversations and be able to tell if the users are plotting some assassination thing or just goofing around with in-game metaphor ("lets kill the president" - regarding a Shroud run...). Now post a dozen hundreds people to hear in real time what players are saying. Quite a job and real "team work".

    Maybe you are just watching too many Jason Bourne?
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    Community Member bsquishwizzy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cedrica-the-Bard View Post
    I'm not sure if this should be posted here or in the Off Topic. But regardless, I would really like to know if the NSA can monitor the voice chat on DDO and the messages? My guess is that they can't.
    You'd be wrong.

    Whether it is text chat or Voice over IP (voice chat), it is not all that tough to intercept / tap communications over the Internet if you know what you are doing. The big trick, however, is figuring out how to crack stuff that is encrypted.

    Trust me, the NSA is loaded to the gills with code-breaker types. That's their bread-and-butter.

    My suggestion is that you not really worry about whether the NSA is listening in to your full-on nerdfest while running your 37th VON run on EH. If they really want to be entertained, they'd be more likely to hit up the adult entertainment websites than your intense discussion as to whether the eSOS is vaild in epics anymore.

    Just sayin'...

  13. #13
    Community Member PermaBanned's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by msdesign View Post
    Where would they store all these files? Ok, maybe a very big computer network with terabytes and hexabytes of data.

    Maybe you are just watching too many Jason Bourne?
    I was thinking more like Eagle Eye...

    But either way, "Big Brother is watching..."

    Pretty sure just asking the question got you flagged, you have been warned...

    Me? I'm safe...
    ... Both my computer and monitor are wrapped securely in tinfoil
    Now excuse me while I wander off to arm myself with Grilled Cheese Sandwiches and hunker down behind my Armored Beer Refrigerator, while I have the UFO's take control of the Congresional Wives with the help of the International Cocaine Smugglers and the Evil Geniuses for a Better Tomorrow

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    Quote Originally Posted by msdesign View Post
    In case they are not saving audio files anywhere (and maybe if they are), they need some people to actually hear the conversations and be able to tell if the users are plotting some assassination thing or just goofing around with in-game metaphor ("lets kill the president" - regarding a Shroud run...). Now post a dozen hundreds people to hear in real time what players are saying. Quite a job and real "team work".
    At the moment it would indeed require lots of human resources to sift through all the date, esp. voice recordings.
    Voice recognition may be already good enough to have a computer understand the words being said, but it will still be a few years until a computer can make sense and interpret what is being said good enough to make automated choice about what's a joke and what's a "serious" conspiracy.

    By then then conspirators will most likely have moved on already and learned to use code phrases in a joking tone and such.

    So until there's eventually (read: perhaps never) a true AI, it will require just too much manpower to listen in on even a fraction of all daily communications. (And once we have that true AI, I am sure we'll have amassed a bunchload of other problems to keep it busy for another century).

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    The Hatchery danotmano1998's Avatar
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    More than likely, they are preoccupied with more important things like national security.
    Chances of your exploit-that-shall-not-be-discussed in the-quest-that-shall-not-be-named that you told your guildie about last week coming into the harsh light of government review are minimal at best.

    On the other hand... That plot to destroy the devil encampment with your raid partners is open knowledge. The government has secretly been smuggling cure critical potions to the enemy, and equipped them with the training to survive an open assault. Good luck to you!
    <-Curelite Bottling Company->

    Quote Originally Posted by Chilldude
    Dude, did you see they way that guy just pressed button 1? It was amazing! A display of skill unseen since the 1984 World Games where in the men's room, between events, a man washed his hands with such unbridled majesty that people were claiming the faucet he used was OP.

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    2014 DDO Players Council Flavilandile's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 350zguy View Post
    How can you dump the combat log? I FREAKING HATE the lack of a logging function!
    Quote Originally Posted by Ensis View Post
    Yes, please share. Would it dump a combat log to text consistently? I'd love a script that would parse and write DPS in real-time.

    Sorry, not giving names...
    The exact location was posted last year in the other DDO forum. ( 24/07/2012 that should help finding the right thread )

    Note that using the tool once you find it, as far as we know, breaks the EULA.
    Last edited by Flavilandile; 06-24-2013 at 12:41 PM.
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cedrica-the-Bard View Post
    But regardless, I would really like to know if the NSA can monitor the voice chat on DDO and the messages?
    Can they, sure. Do real human beings listen in, well there are a limited number of those, so the first "ears" on any info are going to be electronic ones looking for particular contents.

    If you're that concerned, there's a number of encryption methods to encrypt phone calls/text message/web traffic etc, just google them. It doesn't mean they won't hoover it up, and eventually discover what the content are, it just means they'll generally have to crack each exchange individually (which is a real time constraint), which is why they claim rights to hold onto encrypted data simply because it is encrypted.

    It doesn't really matter what code crackers the NSA has, as cipher strength is mostly about requiring brute force to crack a code, which is why national security types hate growing cipher strengths because of the ever growing computing requirements to crack a single key. Then again, if enough people adopt encrypted solutions to digital communications, it becomes nearly impossible to source the computing requirement to crack the tiny minscule handful of message there would be a real national interest in.

  18. #18
    Community Member ThePrincipal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charononus View Post
    They've been able to listen/read whatever they want since the late 90's with carnivore, the technology has just gotten better so it's easier for them to do now. Nothing you transmit over an electronic medium has been private for at least 15 years.
    They've been reading your mail since the days of the Pony Express. Once the message lives your hands (or keyboard) it no longer belongs to you and they no longer need a warrant to look at it. At least that's the legal justification in the Patriot Act.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cedrica-the-Bard View Post
    I'm not sure if this should be posted here or in the Off Topic. But regardless, I would really like to know if the NSA can monitor the voice chat on DDO and the messages? My guess is that they can't. But I'm not technically savvy enough to know how it all works. So, I'm asking the question. What do you all think?



    Quote Originally Posted by Codog View Post
    [*]Small evolutionary change that can be completed in shorter stretches of time is more readily achieveable for us than large _revolutionary_ change. Revolutionary change can be rather destabilizing from an engineering and balance perspective.

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    Community Member mondo's Avatar
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    Hmmm so is my tinfoil hat still working, or do I need to line my office walls to.
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