A Question Of Trust

So the big news of the day, Hamlet Au of  New World Notes tells us on Twitter:

OMFG I just narrowly survived certain death from a 6 inch stiletto heel flung at Mach 2 speeds by a half naked club girl off 6th st!

I did titter when I read this, but really, that could have been a very nasty incident and it sounds like a very nasty girl was involved, and I don’t mean nasty in a good way. Ok Ok the real talking point of the weekend, the Redzone hacking issue and the Video. Let’s start with the Video. A Video posted to YouTube had a person appearing to tell someone how they logged wrong passwords because people often type passwords for other services when logging into other sites, this could be a way of cracking people’s accounts, the product that was apparently logging these mistyped passwords, was allegedly Redzone.

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ZFire should apologise to his users

A content creator whom I’ve know for quite a while inworld contacted me last night to berate me for being anti Redzone, said content creator has suffered badly at the hands of copybot over the years and felt that Redzone was the best solution on the market. This content creator is convinced that the anti Redzone rising has been instigated by copybotters who have been thwarted by Redzone, even when I pointed out Redzone’s own miserable statistics for dealing with copybot, they wouldn’t have it, the propaganda war on both sides has taken hold and for many there is no middle ground here.

Some Redzone supporters refuse to see the alt exposure as a problem and feel it’s silly, Some Redzone opponents refuse to acknowledge that IP bans have worked and that griefers coming back with throwaway alts have been thwarted by Redzone.

This of course was always going to happen, in my view Redzone remains unethical because it does not seek consent and uses an exploit to harvest data. There is no need for Redzone to harvest data on people who have done no wrong, if it’s a security tool, but the lure of the nosey parkers seems to have been too much for ZFire to resist.

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Redzone Row Rumbles On

Dale Innis describes the Redzone issue as silly, not just people’s concerns about Redzone, Dale is talking about Redzone itself being silly because it can’t possibly be accurate. Hamlet over at New World Notes suggests it’s not a big issue because so few of Second Life’s total population have voted on the Jira. They are both right to a degree but are both missing the bigger issues because this isn’t about IP logging or tracking, I get to see IP addresses of visitors here, it’s not what gets logged that’s the issue, it’s how it’s used.

Data is required to help improve services, but that data should really be limited when it’s going to be shared or used for marketing purposes, I used to work with a guy who would spell his name incorrectly during surveys so he could track who was selling on his details. People get miffed when their data is used for purposes other than they expected, anyone commenting on my blog, or Hamlet’s isn’t giving us permission to put them on mailing lists, publish their details or engage in a marketing campaign with them and although some sites will try to do this, there are privacy laws and directives to be aware of, the issue is really one of respect, and that’s where Redzone and its users fall down.

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Community Standards changes toothless without common sense

There has been an unannounced change to the community standards, which can be read here. The main point people have noticed so far is with regards to disclosure:


Residents are entitled to a reasonable level of privacy with regard to their Second Life experience. Sharing personal information about your fellow Residents without their consent — including gender, religion, age, marital status, race, sexual preference, alternate account names, and real-world location beyond what is provided by them in their Resident profile — is not allowed. Remotely monitoring conversations in Second Life, posting conversation logs, or sharing conversation logs without the participants’ consent are all prohibited.

Now before people start popping the champagne corks thinking this means the end of Redzone, think again, because without Linden Lab applying some common sense and moderation, things haven’t changed that much at all.

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The Redzone Challenge

Whilst I still personally believe Redzone should be banned, for those who feel Redzone is an ethical tool, aimed solely at reducing the risk of grieifng and copybotting, I challenge them to do the ethical thing here and set aside a landing point that fully informs potential visitors and customers of their sims and stores of exactly what will happen with their data once they enter a Redzone enabled parcel.

One of the arguments set forth by Redzone users has been that those who oppose the system are copybotters, or people who want to grief, suggesting therefore that honest to goodness people will have no problem whatsoever with sharing the data that Redzone thrives upon. Therefore let’s put this to the test, inform people that the system will scan them, try to match them to alts, that the information can be retrieved by other Redzone users and that their alts can be revealed, if Redzone users are correct, the vast majority of people won’t mind at all, they’d also be seeking consent for use of the system, ticking an ethical usage box.

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