America's Army executive producer Phil DeLuca has issued a hilariously thuggish warning to players of the US Army's action game / recruitment tool on the game's official forum this week. In a post seemingly removed after the attention it drew, DeLuca threatened that cheaters and those tampering with the game were "misusing Army property" and guilty of "cyber crime", before appearing to liken players guilty of such crimes to those in Japan who decided to bomb Pearl Harbour in the 1940s. The missive went on to threaten that the Department of Justice, the Secret Service and even the FBI could be involved in tracking people down, and concluded in cringeworthy fashion by declaring, "The Army is angry, and we're coming for you."
It is, frankly, extraordinary. Which is why we've decided to post the full text here for you to soak up. Is cheating really this bad? Or are we just living in a very bad comedy?
"Some of you (and clearly the bad guys are among them) don't always remember that this game, and all accounts and derivative products, are the property of the United States Army. When you tamper with the game, not only are you breaking the EULA you're misusing Army property - and, worse, you're misusing US Army computer programs and equipment.
"Tampering with software and servers owned or used by the Army is cyber crime.
"In the early 1940's, Japan learned an important lesson - "let the sleeping giant lie." We may not react swiftly, but when we do it's with unstoppable force. The Army has partners that deal with cyber crime as a matter of course. These include not just various Army IT departments, but also the Department of Justice, the Secret Service, and the Federal Bureau of Investigations.
"It's going to get uncomfortable for some of the bad guys, but you know what? They brought it on themselves. Knowing this anyone who continues to be bad is just plain foolish. Keep trying, though. Sooner or later the bad guy will realize we've known about him for a while... and by then it's too late.
"Allow me to speak directly to the bad guys for a moment: When you get banned, know that we know and have records showing you were doing something that's a violation of terms of service, breaks your EULA, and also happens to be against the law. We know who you are, and can track down where you play from. We have incontrovertible proof you did something illegal. The Army is angry, and we're coming for you."