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Author Topic: Curious About A MOD I Made  (Read 5974 times)

Offline IceXaos

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Curious About A MOD I Made
« on: December 01, 2010, 08:35:56 PM »
I made a MOD on my site which allows administrators to view PMs and generate an inbox as well as an outbox by gathering the PMs other users have in their inbox from that user.  It can also regularly view all PMs by all users from newest to oldest with a specified amount showing (default: 30).

I know a may have given a few more details than needed, but just curious as to if this is actually allowed?  I know people have asked for it in the past, and developers tell them they will not help, and nobody will give help, but is it even allowed to put out a MOD for this?

I know this could be considered an "invasion of privacy", but there's reasoning for it under certain circumstances.

We allow real-life trading, game trading, account trading, and more which leads to scam reports and even though they are told not to, they end up using PMs and just copy/paste when they report it.  Since they could change that to be anything they'd like, I use this to see for myself.

Like I said, only admins can use it, not even moderators, so it is in good hands, but do you think I should put this into a package and release if it is allowed?  It's nothing real pretty, but it works perfectly and easy to understand.

Offline flapjack

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Re: Curious About A MOD I Made
« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2010, 08:55:31 PM »
Did you consider enabling reporting of PMs instead of violating user's right to privacy? I don't know where are you from, but in many countries it would be consider as a crime, even if your users were informed. There are just some lines that should not be crossed. And please spare me pathetic speeches about your "reasoning". We live in a world where law enforcement needs permissions to investigate people's mail and other communication.

Offline IceXaos

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Re: Curious About A MOD I Made
« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2010, 09:21:02 PM »
Did you consider enabling reporting of PMs instead of violating user's right to privacy? I don't know where are you from, but in many countries it would be consider as a crime, even if your users were informed. There are just some lines that should not be crossed. And please spare me pathetic speeches about your "reasoning". We live in a world where law enforcement needs permissions to investigate people's mail and other communication.
So in your opinion, it's better to allow someone to scam another, or have others banned for false reports and no consequences?  I think there's times where it's necessary, and like I said, it's not like we're just rummaging through their mail for something to read, it's for settling issues between users and staff.

Offline Spoogs

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Re: Curious About A MOD I Made
« Reply #3 on: December 01, 2010, 09:29:34 PM »
There is an option to allow users to report PM's to admin, you can turn that on and allow your users to report the PM's instead of invading their inboxes.

Admin>>Configuration>>Security & Moderation... General - last option on the page.

Offline IceXaos

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Re: Curious About A MOD I Made
« Reply #4 on: December 01, 2010, 09:32:30 PM »
There is an option to allow users to report PM's to admin, you can turn that on and allow your users to report the PM's instead of invading their inboxes.
With a site such as ours, there's times where their honesty is not exactly something to trust.  If a user reports another of a certain "crime" on our site, then for it to be handled, we could not ask them to send us messages or he would simply get rid of the evidence asap.  I guess we don't exactly fit into the "normal" group of communities, and there's a bit more extremes we have to go to, and I know the report is there, so I guess this is just something that should be kept to myself.

Offline Spoogs

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Re: Curious About A MOD I Made
« Reply #5 on: December 01, 2010, 09:35:30 PM »
A copy of the PM is sent when reported, it cant be changed once sent.

Offline IceXaos

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Re: Curious About A MOD I Made
« Reply #6 on: December 01, 2010, 09:36:48 PM »
A copy of the PM is sent when reported, it cant be changed once sent.
Yes, but neither the recipient nor the sender would be one of the ones willing to expose that it was ever sent.  Proof would come from an external site, reported by users, and investigated by staff.

Offline Spoogs

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Re: Curious About A MOD I Made
« Reply #7 on: December 01, 2010, 09:40:59 PM »
So you're saying if someone was scammed on your site as you put it... or received a PM that violates whatever rules or policies on your site the... The RECIPIENT wouldnt report it. If thats the case said person accepts what happened to them right.

I'm the type of person thats not easily offended by anything so if I were on your site and some moron decided to go off the deep end in my inbox and i decided it wasnt worth reporting... As far as I'm concerned its not your business unless i decide to click that button.

I'm sorry but there just isnt any justification in the world to go through someones inbox... NONE

Offline IceXaos

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Re: Curious About A MOD I Made
« Reply #8 on: December 01, 2010, 09:46:22 PM »
So you're saying if someone was scammed on your site as you put it... or received a PM that violates whatever rules or policies on your site the... The RECIPIENT wouldnt report it. If thats the case said person accepts what happened to them right.

I'm the type of person thats not easily offended by anything so if I were on your site and some moron decided to go off the deep end in my inbox and i decided it wasnt worth reporting... As far as I'm concerned its not your business unless i decide to click that button.

I'm sorry but there just isnt any justification in the world to go through someones inbox... NONE
That's not what I'm saying.  The sender and recipient would be the ones doing wrong, and would only be caught because they exploit themselves externally.  It's simply a double-check before we ban them, in case it was made up to frame them.

Offline flapjack

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Re: Curious About A MOD I Made
« Reply #9 on: December 01, 2010, 09:48:26 PM »
Did you consider enabling reporting of PMs instead of violating user's right to privacy? I don't know where are you from, but in many countries it would be consider as a crime, even if your users were informed. There are just some lines that should not be crossed. And please spare me pathetic speeches about your "reasoning". We live in a world where law enforcement needs permissions to investigate people's mail and other communication.
So in your opinion, it's better to allow someone to scam another, or have others banned for false reports and no consequences?  I think there's times where it's necessary, and like I said, it's not like we're just rummaging through their mail for something to read, it's for settling issues between users and staff.
and what are you? an internet police?

I hope sooner or later you will be punished for that. karma's a ******

Offline IceXaos

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Re: Curious About A MOD I Made
« Reply #10 on: December 01, 2010, 09:51:46 PM »
Did you consider enabling reporting of PMs instead of violating user's right to privacy? I don't know where are you from, but in many countries it would be consider as a crime, even if your users were informed. There are just some lines that should not be crossed. And please spare me pathetic speeches about your "reasoning". We live in a world where law enforcement needs permissions to investigate people's mail and other communication.
So in your opinion, it's better to allow someone to scam another, or have others banned for false reports and no consequences?  I think there's times where it's necessary, and like I said, it's not like we're just rummaging through their mail for something to read, it's for settling issues between users and staff.
and what are you? an internet police?

I hope sooner or later you will be punished for that. karma's a ******
I believe you fail to understand the reasoning and true workings of a community such as ours.

Offline Spoogs

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Re: Curious About A MOD I Made
« Reply #11 on: December 01, 2010, 09:53:10 PM »
That's not what I'm saying.  The sender and recipient would be the ones doing wrong, and would only be caught because they exploit themselves externally.  It's simply a double-check before we ban them, in case it was made up to frame them.
Try to justify all you want...
The simple response is... no I dont think such a mod would be allowed on the mod site but I'm sure someone who knows for a fact will eventually confirm that for ya.

Offline IceXaos

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Re: Curious About A MOD I Made
« Reply #12 on: December 01, 2010, 09:56:11 PM »
That's not what I'm saying.  The sender and recipient would be the ones doing wrong, and would only be caught because they exploit themselves externally.  It's simply a double-check before we ban them, in case it was made up to frame them.
Try to justify all you want...
The simple response is... no I dont think such a mod would be allowed on the mod site but I'm sure someone who knows for a fact will eventually confirm that for ya.
Well, if it's this controversial, I will simply keep it to myself.  I know it's not useful to the average forum, but in cases it is, and not everyone will understand that.  There are about 3 main sites such as ours, and all can view PMs of users if wanted, for the same exact reason as the others.  Most users already understand that this is available for us, and they don't have a problem with it because they can understand why we would do it.  To be honest, people were surprised we hadn't done it sooner, but with enough reports, we had to finally step in and do it.

Offline Bigguy

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Re: Curious About A MOD I Made
« Reply #13 on: December 01, 2010, 09:59:16 PM »
Mods like this have been discussed before and I believe it is the opinion of SM that this not be allowed as a mod. With that said, there is nothing to say you can not make this and use it yourself. I just hope it does not lead to problems for you.

Offline flapjack

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Re: Curious About A MOD I Made
« Reply #14 on: December 01, 2010, 09:59:49 PM »
I failed? No, it's you who failed to understand the right to the privacy. your methods are not different than communists or nazis.
don't try to diminish your pathetic approach

Offline IceXaos

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Re: Curious About A MOD I Made
« Reply #15 on: December 01, 2010, 10:09:44 PM »
I understand the right to privacy, and like I said about 3 times now, we don't just read people's PMs for something to do.  We only do it when there's a reason that it would need to be done.  Within our site, we are the law that keeps it a good place.  It's like the police cannot randomly come search your house, but if there's a good reason to, they can.

Offline SlammedDime

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Re: Curious About A MOD I Made
« Reply #16 on: December 01, 2010, 11:26:57 PM »
The official answer from us is that we will not allow any mod on our site or forum that allows an administrator to violate the privacy of their users.  While PM's are considered 'Personal Messages', not 'Private Messages', a mod of this nature still violates a user's privacy.
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Offline Aleksi "Lex" Kilpinen

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Re: Curious About A MOD I Made
« Reply #17 on: December 02, 2010, 12:48:06 AM »
Depending on the local laws you fall under, it could even be concidered illegal if your users are under the impression that the PMs are by nature private.
In many countries all 1 to 1 communication not _intended_ for others, is illegal to intercept or use to any advantage.
This goes for written communications, spoken communications, radio communications etc.

That is why even the police need permits to something like that ;)
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Offline IceXaos

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Re: Curious About A MOD I Made
« Reply #18 on: December 02, 2010, 01:10:47 AM »
Depending on the local laws you fall under, it could even be concidered illegal if your users are under the impression that the PMs are by nature private.
In many countries all 1 to 1 communication not _intended_ for others, is illegal to intercept or use to any advantage.
This goes for written communications, spoken communications, radio communications etc.

That is why even the police need permits to something like that ;)
In many states, it's not even technically illegal to read another person's emails.  I would doubt this would fall under being illegal.  If it does, well I guess I shouldn't post it in public then. lol

Offline Aleksi "Lex" Kilpinen

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Re: Curious About A MOD I Made
« Reply #19 on: December 02, 2010, 01:17:51 AM »
By states you probably mean in US? Remember, SMF has a world wide userbase, and most countries do restrict things like this by law...
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Offline IceXaos

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Re: Curious About A MOD I Made
« Reply #20 on: December 02, 2010, 01:18:55 AM »
By states you probably mean in US? Remember, SMF has a world wide userbase, and most countries do restrict things like this by law...
Being as the server is hosted in the US, wouldn't it fall under US laws concerning anything like this?

Offline Aleksi "Lex" Kilpinen

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Re: Curious About A MOD I Made
« Reply #21 on: December 02, 2010, 01:20:48 AM »
By states you probably mean in US? Remember, SMF has a world wide userbase, and most countries do restrict things like this by law...
Being as the server is hosted in the US, wouldn't it fall under US laws concerning anything like this?
If it was actually used here, then it would probably fall under the laws that bind SMF, but I wouldn't go offering a tool to break laws of any, not to mention many, countries even if it was technically legal in certain states of the US ;)
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Re: Curious About A MOD I Made
« Reply #22 on: December 11, 2010, 04:45:50 AM »
The only way to be totally free of problems with PM systems is to just have none altogether. IMHO privacy is not an excuse to abuse the PM system on someone else's site, but since PMs are supposed to be private unless reported, the only way to do anything is to put a huge notice on the Inbox page written in yellow bold text on red background, encouraging the use of the "Report to moderator" feature. If PM reports fail to solve the abuse problem, then your only solution is to disable PM sending completely.

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Offline mannyRUA

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Re: Curious About A MOD I Made
« Reply #23 on: December 12, 2010, 05:27:40 PM »
IceXaos runs a site. The database belongs to him.

Most of us cannot be bothered and/or have no need to read PMs, but if in his community he does, that is his decision.

No reason to get shirty with the guy.

Ice, in answer to your original question, yes it is "allowed" in law in most places. Its your database to do what you like with. Just have folks agree to it during sign up within the TOS. It seems these chaps wont sanction your mod as an "official" mod. But, I saw enough requests for this over the years that there is clearly a market for it. You could sell it privately.
« Last Edit: December 12, 2010, 05:31:03 PM by mannyRUA »

Offline IceXaos

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Re: Curious About A MOD I Made
« Reply #24 on: December 12, 2010, 05:31:29 PM »
IceXaos runs a site. The database belongs to him.

Most of us cannot be bothered and/or have no need to read PMs, but if in his community he does, that is his decision.

No reason to get shirty with the guy.
Lol I thought this thread died by now ..

By the way, I'm not an ass that will go readin' your PMs for no reason, nor do I care what they say.  There's just a lot of things that go on in botting sites that don't in most, and unless you're used to it, most people wouldn't understand.  When I offered this, I guess I wasn't really thinkin' because most people will have no use for it, but I just figured I'd offer up since I already had it done, that's all.

Offline flapjack

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Re: Curious About A MOD I Made
« Reply #25 on: December 12, 2010, 05:41:05 PM »
Ice, in answer to your original question, yes it is "allowed" in law in most places.
can you please name few of them please, and back it up of course, just few

Offline IceXaos

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Re: Curious About A MOD I Made
« Reply #26 on: December 12, 2010, 05:51:17 PM »
Ice, in answer to your original question, yes it is "allowed" in law in most places.
can you please name few of them please, and back it up of course, just few
I'm too lazy to look, but check Google.  It's nothing new that employers can read emails sent to and from the work place, even without a contract saying so, and many other situations.  You just need a valid reason to look.

This thread can be locked at any time, as it's really gone off topic and I've gotten my answer.

Offline flapjack

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Re: Curious About A MOD I Made
« Reply #27 on: December 12, 2010, 05:58:28 PM »
Quote
I'm too lazy to look, but check Google.  It's nothing new that employers can read emails sent to and from the work place, even without a contract saying so, and many other situations.  You just need a valid reason to look.
that's completely not relevant to what we are discussing.

Offline mannyRUA

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Re: Curious About A MOD I Made
« Reply #28 on: December 12, 2010, 06:17:19 PM »
Flapjack, can I turn that around and ask you where you think it is illegal to access ones own database?

Offline flapjack

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Re: Curious About A MOD I Made
« Reply #29 on: December 12, 2010, 06:21:14 PM »
I'm sorry, but the original question is whether you are or you are not allowed to read private messages between forum users. If you cannot see the difference between your question and the original one, I will give you a small clue: are knives illegal? and if not, is it illegal for me to use it? for example to stab few people? it's my knife after all...

edit:
I can give you an example of two countries, that disallow such behavior: Ireland and Poland. In both of them, accessing the information that is not intended for your eyes is illegal. This law applies for example if you are accessing an open wireless network (one that you know belongs to someone else), reading other people's mail, and I'm pretty sure that basing on those two you could easy extrapolate it over emails and private messages. And before you asked - yes, people were already convinced and sentenced for accessing others' open wireless network and using it, as well as for reading private correspondence.

Offline IceXaos

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Re: Curious About A MOD I Made
« Reply #30 on: December 12, 2010, 06:30:49 PM »
I'm sorry, but the original question is whether you are or you are not allowed to read private messages between forum users. If you cannot see the difference between your question and the original one, I will give you a small clue: are knives illegal? and if not, is it illegal for me to use it? for example to stab few people? it's my knife after all...

edit:
I can give you an example of two countries, that disallow such behavior: Ireland and Poland. In both of them, accessing the information that is not intended for your eyes is illegal. This law applies for example if you are accessing an open wireless network (one that you know belongs to someone else), reading other people's mail, and I'm pretty sure that basing on those two you could easy extrapolate it over emails and private messages. And before you asked - yes, people were already convinced and sentenced for accessing others' open wireless network and using it, as well as for reading private correspondence.
US Based server, not Irish or Polish.  Try again.

Offline mannyRUA

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Re: Curious About A MOD I Made
« Reply #31 on: December 12, 2010, 06:32:30 PM »
The messages are on your database. Of course it is allowed to access ones own database in most of the [European] free world.

Asking "allowed by whom?" might be a qualifier. Defining "allowed" in context would be another avenue to pursue if one were so inclined.

So, the question of "whether you are or you are not allowed to read private messages between forum users?" can be somewhat clarified as, "Am I allowed to read the contents of my own database?" To which the answer is, "Yes".

The whole argument about ethics, morals, SMF approval, approved mods, etc is quite secondary and indeed, another discussion.

As stated prior, if YOU think, in certain jurisdictions, people cannot access their own database as and how they please, do tell us where and why?

Your point about law in Ireland and Poland local laws is invalid. EU law trumps both, as Ireland and Poland are members of the EU. Unless the EU has a law defining this, local laws are usually over ruled.

Offline flapjack

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Re: Curious About A MOD I Made
« Reply #32 on: December 12, 2010, 06:53:23 PM »
Quote
The messages are on your database. Of course it is allowed to access ones own database in most of the [European] free world.
as you didn't understand the knife analogy I'm not surprised you cannot understand what I'm trying to say

Quote
Your point about law in Ireland and Poland local laws is invalid. EU law trumps both, as Ireland and Poland are members of the EU. Unless the EU has a law defining this, local laws are usually over ruled.
you are completely wrong. the EU law is not "over" anything. in certain cases however countries may agree to adopt the same policy to govern a certain aspect of life. countries within EU are still independent

Quote
US Based server, not Irish or Polish.  Try again.
with every answer you are just proving your ignorance, as your original post didn't clarify whether your hosting is located. think again

I'm calling it a day, as I got involved into a dispute with two obvious trolls without realizing it. I wish you many PMs that you will "review" as "you own them".

Offline IceXaos

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Re: Curious About A MOD I Made
« Reply #33 on: December 12, 2010, 06:58:01 PM »
with every answer you are just proving your ignorance, as your original post didn't clarify whether your hosting is located. think again

I'm calling it a day, as I got involved into a dispute with two obvious trolls without realizing it. I wish you many PMs that you will "review" as "you own them".
So, you are unable to read posts between the first & last?  I've stated that it's US Based already, therefor your Euro laws are completely irrelevant.  Also, I've stated that I'm not going to put this out a while ago, so there's no point in continuing your little flame fest.

Offline Aleksi "Lex" Kilpinen

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Re: Curious About A MOD I Made
« Reply #34 on: December 13, 2010, 12:12:46 AM »
As I believe this topic has filled it's purpose, and is getting sidetracked fast, I'll lock this now.
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