SMF 2.0.18 has been released! Please update. Read more.
Started by Runic, July 19, 2013, 11:54:22 AM
Quote from: Runic on July 19, 2013, 11:54:22 AMOur staff have been asked to be extra vigilant, when providing support, and we will also be reporting any suspected sites to the agency. Unfortunately, the nature of open source prohibits us from adding requirements when people download the software, and, even on such forms, people can and will lie. So, this, for us, is the next best thing and one that we hope that the community will help us combat.
Quote from: MrPhil on July 19, 2013, 01:14:43 PMQuote from: Runic on July 19, 2013, 11:54:22 AMOur staff have been asked to be extra vigilant, when providing support, and we will also be reporting any suspected sites to the agency. Unfortunately, the nature of open source prohibits us from adding requirements when people download the software, and, even on such forms, people can and will lie. So, this, for us, is the next best thing and one that we hope that the community will help us combat.Certainly a laudable goal, and I won't quarrel with it, but Simple Machines and its members needs to be careful about this. We don't want to give the impression that we're becoming deeply involved with the authorities (especially after the NSA revelations), or that SM is in any way legally responsible for the content of SMF sites other than this one (to whatever extent it is). Some people seem to be of the impression that SM runs all SMF-using sites, and SM needs to do more (what?) to make it clear it doesn't. Certainly any illegal material found on this site should be reported to the proper authorities and removed/hidden as they request.The US has been fond of witch hunts since the early 17th century. All too often though, pedophilia/child porn accusations have turned out to be way overblown, causing much misery to innocent people. Who can forget the McMartin Preschool scandal, where a mentally unbalanced mother accused the school of all sorts of crimes (including flying children to the far side of the Moon on witches' brooms for group sex)? The owners were actually arrested, and a mob torched the school (or their homes, I don't remember which). I remember a case where a family sent some film to a processor (the local Wal-mart?) and there were pictures in there of Dad giving his infant daughter a bath. Nothing evil, the kind of cute pictures every family has dozens of. The store reported them to the police and they were arrested on child porn charges. It happens. Be very careful about reporting something (this site, your site, a third-party site) unless it's very clear and obvious what's going on. The police are always a bit too enthusiastic about being heroes for taking down someone who would have no supporters among the public.SM is going to have to have an answer ready when authorities come to them asking for help in reading Personal Messages and such exchanged between members. Even though it's Open Source, a local Police Department probably doesn't have the cyber skills to find the requested material, at least in a way that would pass muster in court as properly gathered evidence. Are you ready to assist in this, even if there is no search warrant at that point (it's a fishing expedition)? How about requests to crack passwords? How about requests to impersonate another member in a sting operation? It will happen. It's one thing to do this on your own system, but aid in snooping a third party's site? These issues are bound to come up, so think about it and be prepared with a policy.There's nastiness on both sides of this issue. One side is unarguably bad, but the other isn't always shining white.