Poll: Sandboxing E.A. Origin - And did it work for you?

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Now no doubt many of you have concerns about E.A.'s Origin scanning the contents of your PC, me being one of them but not willing to miss out on great games I have found a tutorial written to help you with that.

IMPORTANT NOTE!!! I did not write the tutorial, all I know is it worked for me and that you should take your own precautions when following it!

Limit Origin and other programs from accessing various things:

It turns out that there's a free version of Sandboxie that supports both 64bit and 32bit Windows. My biggest gripe was with Origin scanning the ProgramData folder however after more testing, its access can indeed be blocked by Sandboxie.

Here are the basic steps to limit Origin's access:

-Download and install the free version of Sandboxie and then run it
-Create a new sandbox called Origin

-Open command prompt and type "cd C:\ProgramData"
-Then type "dir /d"
-Copy the list of directories to an empty Notepad document and remove the Origin entry in the pasted text

-Use Edit / Replace to get rid of all "]" characters
-Use Edit / Replace to replace all "[" characters with "ClosedFilePath=C:\ProgramData\"
-Add "OpenPipePath=C:\" at the top of the document for however many normal hard drives/partitions you have on the PC (D,E,F,etc). You shouldn't need to worry as the only major thing Origin appears to access outside of EA/Origin/System related stuff is the ProgramData folder

-Copy all the text in notepad and get back to Sandboxie
-Go to Configure / Edit configuration
-While editing the opened ini file go to the very bottom of the Origin entry and paste the text underneath
-Save and close the file, Sandboxie should automatically put up a message about updating its settings

-If need be you can check the Sandbox settings in Sandboxie itself to make sure everything has been set correctly
-Run Origin through the sandbox that you created. Provided that you removed the Origin folder entry before it should execute and login just fine

There you have it; testing showed that Origin's behaviour remained the same in such an environment with the exception that it couldn't access the folders in ProgramData except its own folder.

Sandboxie can also be used for things like Punkbuster, though you should check the following page to avoid conflicts:
http://www.sandboxie.com/index.php?KnownConflicts#punkbuster

I can't 100% garuantee this, but it does appear that after taking these steps that Origin will not access much outside system/origin/ea stuff and so your other stuff should be private. You might need to tweak the sandbox settings a bit however if you install additional programs that use ProgramData to stop Origin from accessing them.

Remember that Origin isn't the only suspect software you may have; you can use Sandbox and ProcessMonitor for other suspect programs as well.

Unless Origin gets an update that makes it more invasive I'll be willing to use Origin outside of tests at the moment, now we just have to hope that BF3 and other Origin games don't suck ;)

-End of Tutorial

Remember that Origin will act kind of funky for a while since many of its automatic features will be blocked so you will receive a lot of popups from sandboxie and Origins going WHAT THE HELL?! Remember I did not write this so I cannot provide any assistance if you need any, I am sorry! If anybody needs help and you know how to help them please do not hold your silence and help them!

P.S. If you are one of those people who scoff at others for wanting to protect their privacy this thread is not for you, you are only going to start a flame war.

EDIT01: Is anybody going to stay on topic? This thread was created for the sole purpose of educating people who want to block Origin from scanning their computer. Not discussing/flaming the topic of why you should or should not do it or the morality of what E.A. is doing.

To me the problem isnt that they can legally access everything in my computer, im not afraid of that.
The problem is that they actually put that little note there.. I know it sounds weird but i cant really explain it.. Blocking it off for me would do nothing. It's the fact that they even let it in there, that little note in the TOS. It disgusts me, therefore i have started a small EA protest, not to play any of their PC games (and well, try to avoid their console games).

I wonder how long EA is going to go before it decides to amend their ToS stating "If we can't scan your computer/you subvert our system, we can terminate your account."?

usmarine4160:
Scoffer reporting in... only pedos have anything to hide ;)

Let the flame war commence!

image

You are way too slow! I choose you FlameShield!
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Atmos Duality:
I wonder how long EA is going to go before it decides to amend their ToS stating "If we can't scan your computer/you subvert our system, we can terminate your account."?

I have a very real fear of that. If push comes to shove I will terminate my E.A. account on my own terms.

Saulkar:

Atmos Duality:
I wonder how long EA is going to go before it decides to amend their ToS stating "If we can't scan your computer/you subvert our system, we can terminate your account."?

I have a very real fear of that. If push comes to shove I will terminate my E.A. account on my own terms.

They won't do that. They like your money more than they like spying on you.

... and I keep wondering what people think they have to hide.

This is ridiculous :D

Adam Jensen:

Saulkar:

Atmos Duality:
I wonder how long EA is going to go before it decides to amend their ToS stating "If we can't scan your computer/you subvert our system, we can terminate your account."?

I have a very real fear of that. If push comes to shove I will terminate my E.A. account on my own terms.

They won't do that. They like your money more than they like spying on you.

The terms in their contract are only as valid as their enforcement (this is standard procedure in Contract Law), so they might do it anyway.

Why would you go to such lengths? Why do you care that they can see your other programs' saved data?

Atmos Duality:

Adam Jensen:

Saulkar:

I have a very real fear of that. If push comes to shove I will terminate my E.A. account on my own terms.

They won't do that. They like your money more than they like spying on you.

The terms in their contract are only as valid as their enforcement (this is standard procedure in Contract Law), so they might do it anyway.

and so may just about every program on your computer it doesn't matter the only way to be a 100% sure that your privacy is not being invaded on the internet is to turn it off right now unplug the internet cable and set the rest on fire and bury it in the earth core hell you don't even need use a perticular program ever searched for anything using google because thay will have your search habits and ip logged so its a waste of time to just go after one program

also people like you just come of as having something to hide

Tharwen:
Why would you go to such lengths? Why do you care that they can see your other programs' saved data?

Go to such lengths? Dude it took less than ten minutes to show that I still care about something called privacy. Privacy is relative and for that reason it is mine and other people's choices to define it as they will and protect it as they will. Besides I find this tinkering fun.

Anah'ya:
... and I keep wondering what people think they have to hide.

This is ridiculous :D

Some people have some ... less than legal ... programs on their computers.

Dr Jones:
To me the problem isnt that they can legally access everything in my computer, im not afraid of that.
The problem is that they actually put that little note there.. I know it sounds weird but i cant really explain it.. Blocking it off for me would do nothing. It's the fact that they even let it in there, that little note in the TOS. It disgusts me, therefore i have started a small EA protest, not to play any of their PC games (and well, try to avoid their console games).

You know they did update the EULA right?

http://bf3blog.com/2011/08/ea-updates-origin-eula-after-criticism/

Saulkar:

Tharwen:
Why would you go to such lengths? Why do you care that they can see your other programs' saved data?

Go to such lengths? Dude it took less than ten minutes to show that I still care about something called privacy. Privacy is relative and for that reason it is mine and other people's choices to define it as they will and protect it as they will. Besides I find this tinkering fun.

I think your privacy was violated as soon as banner ads started knowing what city you live in. It's a little late to care now... and besides, EA really doesn't care about what kind of porn you watch.

Myself, I'll just get BF3 for console and circumvent the whole fiasco. lolconsolegamers right?

Anah'ya:
... and I keep wondering what people think they have to hide.

This is ridiculous :D

that is the wrong question, the correct question is "why is EA so interested in whats on my computer"

EA has shown time and time again that they have little regard for what their customers think. so i cannot see how their surveillance is meant to be beneficial.

Anah'ya:
... and I keep wondering what people think they have to hide.

This is ridiculous :D

One of the stupidest statements ever made is "only criminals have anything to hide." - But hey, if you don't mind some company somewhere knowing every single thing about your life, don't let anyone get in the way.

It's not natural to tell others everything.

Aside from which, do you have any unsecured documents on your computer?

Writing a novel perhaps? Bank statements? Financial data?

How about account information for other online services?

There's a huge list of things people can have on their computer that actually, if you gave any thought to it, wouldn't want just anyone to be able to see.

And while I doubt a company would be looking for this stuff, the mere fact that they're expecting you to give them the legal right to look at anything at all that you've got on your computer (and without letting you so much as know what, exactly they're looking at) is not such a great idea.

It really surprises me how people seem to think nobody would have anything to hide. Ask yourself honestly... "Is there anything I wouldn't be happy about EVERYONE ON THE PLANET knowing", then check to see if any of that is sitting unsecured on your PC somewhere...

Anah'ya:
... and I keep wondering what people think they have to hide.

Bank account details
My home address
Full name
Date of Birth
Passwords to many, many things
Similar data for the loved ones of my family
And last but not least
Gigabytes of nasty, nasty porn

You're thinking about it wrong. EA probably wants the information to do nothing more than sell you more crap. But using Origin gives them the right to enter your computer and retrieve any data they want at any time without notifying you.

So what if someone hacks Origin?

It's not an unlikely scenario, given that XBox Live, PS network, Steam and Gamespy have all come under repeated cyber attack. Accounts on all services getting hijacked is not uncommon and PSN and XBL have both been brought down and broken into from their content servers.

If that happens to Origin, someone else than EA now has remote access to everything in your computer, you happy about that prospect?

theonecookie:

also people like you just come of as having something to hide

Fallacy: Poisoning the Well

Yeah, I'm obviously a criminal because I don't want a for-profit organization rooting around my computer with their fucking rootkit.

The rest of your post is nigh-incomprehensible.
I'm sorry, but I take arguments as seriously as I can understand them.

The reason why EA gets away with everything is because people just forget. It is like the gaming community has ADD and get distracting by throwing a damn candy bar on the ground. And Ea, I'll never forget... ever...

CrystalShadow:

Anah'ya:
... and I keep wondering what people think they have to hide.

This is ridiculous :D

One of the stupidest statements ever made is "only criminals have anything to hide." - But hey, if you don't mind some company somewhere knowing every single thing about your life, don't let anyone get in the way.

It's not natural to tell others everything.

Aside from which, do you have any unsecured documents on your computer?

Writing a novel perhaps? Bank statements? Financial data?

How about account information for other online services?

There's a huge list of things people can have on their computer that actually, if you gave any thought to it, wouldn't want just anyone to be able to see.

And while I doubt a company would be looking for this stuff, the mere fact that they're expecting you to give them the legal right to look at anything at all that you've got on your computer (and without letting you so much as know what, exactly they're looking at) is not such a great idea.

It really surprises me how people seem to think nobody would have anything to hide. Ask yourself honestly... "Is there anything I wouldn't be happy about EVERYONE ON THE PLANET knowing", then check to see if any of that is sitting unsecured on your PC somewhere...

When I posted this it was about time to hit the sack. I said to my fellow Comrade: "When I wake up I'll be quoted at least 4 times with people telling me about the horrible risk that Origin poses to our personal data."

Woo Woo.

Score.

Really. It amazes me. EA is not going to steal my novel. EA is not going to steal my bank account details. EA is not going to collect every single .jpg and .png just in hopes that it gets some nudes out of them.

They are getting hardware and software specs to improve on their marketing and development. Something I fully endorse and will continue to fully endorse as long as I profit from the outcome.

(And no, I don't have anything to hide, and I would be perfectly fine with my computer contents being available to the rest of the planet. I'm grown up enough to know that "privacy" is an illusion)

.. and worried about hackers getting access to Origin and eating all and your datas? Sometimes I wish companies would have the time and resources to explain every single one of their decisions and what measures are being taken to insure that their customers remain safe. But they don't. So unless someone receives a reply from one of their developers responsible for stitching together Origin, and gets a complete rundown on what they can and cannot see and what the can and cannot transfer, I'll just do what I always do:

Trust a corporation to have enough brains not to fuck up entirely. Unlike the general populace of the Escapist I still have faith in humanity. I know. Shocking, isn't it?

Anah'ya:

CrystalShadow:

Anah'ya:
... and I keep wondering what people think they have to hide.

This is ridiculous :D

One of the stupidest statements ever made is "only criminals have anything to hide." - But hey, if you don't mind some company somewhere knowing every single thing about your life, don't let anyone get in the way.

It's not natural to tell others everything.

Aside from which, do you have any unsecured documents on your computer?

Writing a novel perhaps? Bank statements? Financial data?

How about account information for other online services?

There's a huge list of things people can have on their computer that actually, if you gave any thought to it, wouldn't want just anyone to be able to see.

And while I doubt a company would be looking for this stuff, the mere fact that they're expecting you to give them the legal right to look at anything at all that you've got on your computer (and without letting you so much as know what, exactly they're looking at) is not such a great idea.

It really surprises me how people seem to think nobody would have anything to hide. Ask yourself honestly... "Is there anything I wouldn't be happy about EVERYONE ON THE PLANET knowing", then check to see if any of that is sitting unsecured on your PC somewhere...

When I posted this it was about time to hit the sack. I said to my fellow Comrade: "When I wake up I'll be quoted at least 4 times with people telling me about the horrible risk that Origin poses to our personal data."

Woo Woo.

Score.

Really. It amazes me. EA is not going to steal my novel. EA is not going to steal my bank account details. EA is not going to collect every single .jpg and .png just in hopes that it gets some nudes out of them.

They are getting hardware and software specs to improve on their marketing and development. Something I fully endorse and will continue to fully endorse as long as I profit from the outcome.

(And no, I don't have anything to hide, and I would be perfectly fine with my computer contents being available to the rest of the planet. I'm grown up enough to know that "privacy" is an illusion)

.. and worried about hackers getting access to Origin and eating all and your datas? Sometimes I wish companies would have the time and resources to explain every single one of their decisions and what measures are being taken to insure that their customers remain safe. But they don't. So unless someone receives a reply from one of their developers responsible for stitching together Origin, and gets a complete rundown on what they can and cannot see and what the can and cannot transfer, I'll just do what I always do:

Trust a corporation to have enough brains not to fuck up entirely. Unlike the general populace of the Escapist I still have faith in humanity. I know. Shocking, isn't it?

Let me rephrase that; This is akin to giving someone permission to enter your house, look around, touch, and make notes about everything they see whenever they feel like it.

I'm not worried at all about EA here. I'm worried about the precedent this sets, and the dubious reasons why they're wanting you to give them permission to do this.

If you really can't see the problem with this, that's fine. Let's just hope it never comes back to bite anyone on the ass. (And don't say it won't happen, because it has. Seemingly innocent information about people collected for innocuous reasons has been used to aid some of the worst atrocities ever seen in history. I won't go into details, but do a little research and I'm sure you can figure it out.)

Anah'ya:

CrystalShadow:

Anah'ya:
... and I keep wondering what people think they have to hide.

This is ridiculous :D

Snip

Snip

(And no, I don't have anything to hide, and I would be perfectly fine with my computer contents being available to the rest of the planet. I'm grown up enough to know that "privacy" is an illusion)

Snip

So I assume you don't close your curtains at night? Because clearly you have nothing to hide.
I assume you blurt out all your random and innermost thoughts? Because clearly you have nothing to hide.
I assume you rub your disgusting proclivities in everyone's face? Because clearly you have nothing to hide.
I assume you hand everybody photocopies of all your personal correspondence? Because clearly you have nothing to hide.

And so forth.

CD-R:

Dr Jones:
To me the problem isnt that they can legally access everything in my computer, im not afraid of that.
The problem is that they actually put that little note there.. I know it sounds weird but i cant really explain it.. Blocking it off for me would do nothing. It's the fact that they even let it in there, that little note in the TOS. It disgusts me, therefore i have started a small EA protest, not to play any of their PC games (and well, try to avoid their console games).

You know they did update the EULA right?

http://bf3blog.com/2011/08/ea-updates-origin-eula-after-criticism/

You know that ammendment changes barely anything, right?

They can still sell information such as "30% of Battlefield 3 players spend more time playing Arma 3", 'cos that stuff doesn't identify you personally.

Honestly all I'm worried about is can I get in trouble if they find all the pirated EA games I have.
Everything else I don't give a fuck about but so far, nobody could give me a clear answer on that.

Can Origin identify illegally acquired software and can EA use that information to sue me for damages?

Saulkar:
me being one of them but not willing to miss out on great games

That's awesome. You're against it, but you're willing to send the message to EA that it's totally okay to do it by playing the games.

I salute you.

Zachary Amaranth:

Saulkar:
me being one of them but not willing to miss out on great games

That's awesome. You're against it, but you're willing to send the message to EA that it's totally okay to do it by playing the games.

I salute you.

The sarcasm is strong with you my young padawan

CrystalShadow:

Let me rephrase that; This is akin to giving someone permission to enter your house, look around, touch, and make notes about everything they see whenever they feel like it.

I'm not worried at all about EA here. I'm worried about the precedent this sets, and the dubious reasons why they're wanting you to give them permission to do this.

If you really can't see the problem with this, that's fine. Let's just hope it never comes back to bite anyone on the ass. (And don't say it won't happen, because it has. Seemingly innocent information about people collected for innocuous reasons has been used to aid some of the worst atrocities ever seen in history. I won't go into details, but do a little research and I'm sure you can figure it out.)

that sounds like every single rpg i have ever played -_-

and there is a difference between digital and physical, if someone was looking outside my house, taking notes, trying to recreate its awesomeness or whatever, yeah i wouldn't give a rats ass, inside the house is a slight bit different.

yeah i get it sets a precedent, and i do frown a little bit upon the idea of them having access to ALL things on my computer (even though that isn't true anymore.), i have nothing to hide so i really don't care, and im' not stupid enough to keep bank information or all that shit on this computer, i keep it separately located on a remote computer that doesn't do any type of gaming/lulz of the sort.

so EA, come at me bro, i really don't care what you look at, you won't find much shit different from anyone else's computer (that is, AMD/Radeon users)

Anah'ya:
... and I keep wondering what people think they have to hide.

This is ridiculous :D

Is that really an excuse to allow people to rummage through your files, however personal they may be?
I'm using this program as soon as I figure it out, theres no way I'm letting some faceless organisation scan my pc without even asking for my permission.

Edit: I'm amazed how willing people are to give up complete privacy for the right to play video games...

Anah'ya:
... and I keep wondering what people think they have to hide.

This is ridiculous :D

I have nothing to hide, but I still would not welcome the police to search my appartment every week.

It is about privacy, and some of us like that.
E.A. has no right to snoop around my computer.

Socken:
Honestly all I'm worried about is can I get in trouble if they find all the pirated EA games I have.
Everything else I don't give a fuck about but so far, nobody could give me a clear answer on that.

Can Origin identify illegally acquired software and can EA use that information to sue me for damages?

"We and agents acting on our behalf do not share information that personally identifies you without your consent, except in rare instances where disclosure is required by law or to enforce EA's legal rights."

It actually sounds like they're covering for if that ever happens. "Required by the law" also sounds pretty fishy...

Anah'ya:
... and I keep wondering what people think they have to hide.

This is ridiculous :D

Some people have ... less than legal ... software on their computers.

Other folks just don't want their PC being nosed around in.

Some don't have anything to hide, it's just the principal of the matter.

On topic.

I have Sandboxie, it works okay for me.

I'd lean towards principal and security fears. I don't trust ea to secure any information they get. What exactly are the limits to their intrusion? I can see it now, some pervert looking for porn pictures off a womens computer. Or accessing their webcam.

Or some hacker gaining access to their system and starts inflicting whatever damage they can do to all users.

idarkphoenixi:

Socken:
Honestly all I'm worried about is can I get in trouble if they find all the pirated EA games I have.
Everything else I don't give a fuck about but so far, nobody could give me a clear answer on that.

Can Origin identify illegally acquired software and can EA use that information to sue me for damages?

"We and agents acting on our behalf do not share information that personally identifies you without your consent, except in rare instances where disclosure is required by law or to enforce EA's legal rights."

It actually sounds like they're covering for if that ever happens. "Required by the law" also sounds pretty fishy...

Yeah that's what worries me. I'm not sure if that shit could fly in Germany though, consumer protection is usually pretty strict here. It's not like EULAs override the law.

Bleh, guess it's all speculation until something happens anyway. Just gonna wait a few months.

Ugh, people are getting on my nerves. "You don't like this, you have stuff to hide!" and crap like that. FFS people, it's the principle of the matter! I DON'T WANT people snooping around my stuff cause they don't have the right to do so! Who cares if I have stuff to hide or not, it's just weird to know that everything on my comp can be looked at. What bout MSN conversation logs? They can search through those, but who says I want anyone else but the people taking part in the convo to know what is being said?

In short: It's just the principle of the matter. Some people like their privacy, things to hide or NOT.

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