The dog who yelps..

..is the dog who is smitten. Apparently 2.3 introduced changes to Warden that to one writer are quite worrying:

The changes to Warden effectively remove our ability as a community to police Blizzard's activities, and may lead to undetected violations of personal privacy, among other possibilities.

Now.. which privacy watchdog group is this? Or a concerned citizen? Perhaps some government entity?

Nope. A company that develops farmbot software. While an argument should not be discared solely on the basis on who is making the argument, I'm too cynical to think that there's no ulterior motives hiding behind the scenes.

With that out of the way, let's tackle the argument itself. Yes, polymorphism is used to obfuscate the inner workings of a program from it's users. Yes, Blizzard could snoop personal data from your computer without you knowing anything about it. But why would they? They already have your personal information, including your credit card number. As a business, they have no interest whatsoever in snooping what's on your computer. Unless you're trying to cheat in their games, that is..

However, a lone programmer could try to sneak in an unauthorized modification (and risking detection by bypassing all of Blizzard's Quality Assurance processes along the way) and collect your data for his personal benefit. So I'd consider that risk to be fairly miniscule.

But how about the whole notion of having a program in your computer that you don't know what it does? Is that a cause for alarm? It depends. Unless you are one of the few that use an Open Source operating system and have read through all of the source code in it.. making a fuss out of Warden is a bit hypocritical. Your computer is filled to the brim with software that might do things that you have no idea about. Quoting Microsoft's 10 immutable laws of security:
If a bad guy can persuade you to run his program on your computer, it's not your computer anymore.

If you don't like unknown software doing stuff you don't know about on your computer.. don't install it.

(via Slashdot and WoW Insider)

Edit: Broken Toys is on the case as well.

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