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Posted: 06.16.09, 03:11 PM
Could it be a creative tool to hack personal data? YES, it could be. Is it likely that it IS a tool to hack personal data? NO. It is likely that that 'free' screensaver you downloaded from some obscure and visually loud website after clicking some popup is a tool to hack personal data? YES. One of SETI's functions is to cllect information from a users computer and send it to the main server. Yes, that is true: IT'S A DISTRIBUTED COMPUTING EFFORT! That's the whole point of the SETI@Home program: you are donating computer time to crunching numbers. This means the SETI@Home program downloads from the main server a piece of data, uses your computer to crunch numbers and look for ETI, and send the analysis back to the main server. THAT is the 'information being collected from a users computer', it probably also sends back that you are running Windows Vista on an AMD/Intel processor at 2.8 GHz with 4 Gigs of RAM, cause that data can be used to help optimize the performance of the SETI@home program. BTW, you can *turn off* sending that data if I'm not mistaken .There is an option to opt out of sending information on BOINC that is not the crunched data.
So basically, if you dont want to help out with distributed computing. Dont download it.