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posted by Dopefish on Tuesday February 18 2014, @05:00AM   Printer-friendly
from the move-along-nothing-to-see-here dept.

Lagg writes:

"We're in a climate where it's easy to accuse a company of spying on you by various means with a distinct possibility that you could be right, but sometimes a reality check is needed. A Reddit user recently posted a thread accusing Valve of writing code for VAC that iterates your DNS cache and sends the hashed entries to their server. The proof provided of this was a prettied disassembly (that was not easily reproducible due to how VAC loads symbols) that showed only that VAC was indeed iterating the DNS cache, which any knowledgeable programmer understands is not exactly an uncommon thing to do, as no socket code was to be seen. Today, Gabe Newell responded to these allegations by confirming that no they do not in fact snoop your cache entries.

There are probably a few things to learn from this, including not trusting a screenshot of code that looks complex without actually understanding what it's doing. A lack of any level-headed investigation is a bad idea and it's important to handle these situations before they snowball into a mob (as Redditors are bound to do)."

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  • (Score: 1) by Lagg on Tuesday February 18 2014, @02:50PM

    by Lagg (105) on Tuesday February 18 2014, @02:50PM (#1623) Homepage Journal
    Ouch, my pride. But seriously, hold on a minute. Where does your criteria for calling something snooping end? A program reads cache entries and sends the hash to a server if it's present in a set of hashes, to me, this is something that is common behavior in this sort of system. It doesn't exactly fit the original thread's implication that all your entries were being vacuumed up. For all the "actually reading the response" you were doing it would appear you didn't actually read the code. Are you seeing anything there that even opens a socket much less explicitly sends entries en masse? It would seem what we really didn't leave behind are the types that lash out against any attempt at objectiveness that might lead to a corporation being favored. But you know what? It happens.
    -- [] 🗿
  • (Score: 1) by GeminiDomino on Tuesday February 18 2014, @03:12PM

    by GeminiDomino (661) on Tuesday February 18 2014, @03:12PM (#1640)
    Considering that the code was a screenshot (seriously, WTF?) and my eyes aren't as young as they used to be, I'll cop to not having carefully read the code. But it's also irrelevant, since the very post you linked to confirmed that VAC was going through the DNS cache, which is what the original poster said (with the sole error of the qualifier "all"), and pretty much the exact opposite of what the summary suggested.

    Whether or not quibbling over definitions of "snooping" qualifies as "objective" is low priority right now.
    "We've been attacked by the intelligent, educated segment of our culture"