Does DSTV monitor your usage of the Drifta?

Posted on July 7, 2011

I would have thought not, however, the following is found in the latest version of the Drifta Client software (1.3.1) for Windows :

0x00114EA8	0x0000006E
0x00114F18	0x00000071
0x00114F90	0x00000064
0x00114FF8	0x0000006D
0x00115068	0x00000070
0x001150E0	0x00000063
0x00115148	0x0000006E
0x001151B8	0x00000071
0x00115230	0x00000064
0x00115298	0x0000006B
0x00115308	0x0000006E
0x00115378	0x00000061

This surely seems to indicate that DSTV is indeed monitoring Drifta useage. I haven’t seen anything anywhere which specifically allows this, perhaps its time to review the terms and conditions again. See them here.  I see nothing in there which gives DSTV the right to monitor what I am doing with the software.

I also found that the Windows application created two files in user/AppData/Roaming/DStv/DStv Mobile Decoder/Logs.

  • last_time.log
    • 2011-07-06, 21:42:19    (The date and time of last useage)
  • tmp.gz
    • Snagit32/CamRecorder/HyCam2/SSRecorder/VODRecorder/HiNetRecorder/wmrecorder/Easy_WebCam_Recording/VideoCap/debut/Screen Recorder 5/My Screen Recorder/bdcam/H264WebCam/smrecorder/Taksi/WebCam Monitor/SplitCam/WVC/MobiGarda/openvcap/Cam Wizard/procguard/SaypeCap/fraps/Jing/FreeScreenVideo

The tmp.gz seems to contain a list of applications which can record the video stream, and which (maybe) they intend to (or already) check for and block.

Running a network traffic sniffer while decoder.exe starts up shows that a DNS lookup is done for and that an HTTPS encrypted session is then established through to the server confirming that there is some level of monitoring going on and that the URLS found in the executable are more than just coincidence.

I mailed Maiyo to ask what this was all about, and after consulting with technical came back to tell me that they have a trial running where they monitor the useage of certain users. The traffic we are seeing above (according to DSTV) arises as the client checks in with the server to see if it is one of the smart cards involved in the trial. While this provides a small amount of comfort, it also confirms that my identifiable details are sent through to DSTV every time I use my Drifta while being connected to the internet. That is cold comfort.

Posted in: Drifta, DSTV Mobile / Drifta FAQs, General questions, Windows Software

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