Wednesday, 2 March 2011

DreadZone and Me.

Well, 7000 comments on the Boys VWR-24746 may have awoken them to the fact that a lot of people are not amused by the ability of someone to record their IP address in world.... and link alts...
So, Soft Linden (/me thinks of soft cheese...) issues the following comment....

"Hey, all. I got the go-ahead to give an update on zF Red Zone specifically.
Again, thank you for the ARs with specific info about violations. These have
been very helpful for letting Lindens know what's going on.

Tuesday morning, we removed zF Red Zone from the Marketplace for a second time.
We removed the in-world vendor distributing the item as well
. We determined that
zF Red Zone was still in violation of our Terms of Service and Community

We asked for removal by no later than today of all zF Red Zone functionality
that discloses any alternate account names. That is, even if consent is asked,
the service may not act on the consent. In addition, we asked for removal by no
later than Friday of the interface for and any remaining implementation of the
zF Red Zone consent mechanism because it does not comply with our policies. If
these updates are not made, we will take appropriate steps to remedy the

As before, we appreciate your help in keeping an eye on content. [as we have no idea what's going on] If you find
that any merchant's product is not in compliance with our TOS or our Community
Standards, please file an abuse report about the product. Do this even if you
filed against a previous version. Include a specific explanation of what you
believe is a violation, and ideally select and report the in-world object at
issue in case it behaves differently than what's in the Marketplace. Before
reporting, make sure you have first-hand knowledge of the issue. Support can
best react if you explain specific steps to reproduce or confirm a violation." seems like you can't buy it anymore, but it is still operating across the grid on various sims.... is this another case of the Boys doing "too little, too late"? I mean, they even tried changing the ToS to accomodate RedZone ..( would they do that for me, I wonder??)

Now, while it is true that various places you go including this blog have the ability to record your IP address should they want to, that doesn't mean that we should encourage it, or, in the Boys case, turn a blind eye.... my privacy is not something I ignore.

BettinaTizzy asked in Twitter "Are SLers in denial? I think avatar=real person privacy is at death's door."... a comment that was taken up by Botgirl, and was talked about last week by Ener Hax, on her, always entertaining blog. As always, one can ask the opposite question ...just as interestingly..."Are RLers in denial that Virtual Personas are here to stay?"

There are so many security issues now....and I'm speaking from personal spam-fighting experience here.... that the ability to leave a huge digital footprint as soror Nishi and leave my typist free to fade into the digital background has been a great bonus for me.

SL has, since it's beginning, encouraged alternative names. It's current drive to link to Facebook for purely financial reasons, i.e. data mining, has caused this recent interest in "verifiable" names. It has no other reason that I can see to be interested in this subject at all.

The cynical side of me wonders if, as they would be unable to sell our IP addresses to spam mailers, they are on a commission from DreadZone.... I know that sounds a bit paranoid, but then.... worse tricks have been played.
However this all pans out, and it is far from over yet, I would expect to see RedZone operating in SL for a long time still.... and another set of people who decide that this is the straw that broke their positive attitude to SL.

In a month which saw Rod Humble state that he thought citizens should be able to decide the level of privacy that they are comfortable with, we have seen negatively impressive nonaction by his hirelings. 7000 comments seems like a long time to wait before you act... is Soft, just a bit too soft?...(as Mr T. says in the Snickers advert... "get some nuts!!") or is it just another case of "frankly my damn I don't give a deer?"



  1. I don't really understand why people seem to think it's their right to be anonymous in virtual worlds. No one is anonymous in the real world. There is a lot more to consider that just privacy. Without identity there is no accountability, hence things like griefing and trafficking of contraband. I don't think those things can just be discounted out of hand.

    On the technical side, an IP address is hardly a means of reliable identification, nor is it a direct line to your email inbox. People who really want to remain anon can do so easily.

  2. /me wonders how long @Matthew has been around... or how old he/she is RL.
    Few of us are found on the Internet... maybe a link or two. But I find it's common for a blogger to show up on 10 Google pages... soror does, brinda as well.
    A good friend of mine has said something about themselves that also applies to me... "I find I can be more [insert name] here than I can be [insert name] in real life.
    While IP addresses don't specify and exact location... they do give an ISP. Sure as heck there are sleazy people working for these ISPs that would be willing to sell a bit of information for the right price.
    I have found some very disturbed people in my 68 years on earth, never mind my nearly four years in Secondlife.

  3. @Brinda If you really wanted to know you could easily find out since I haven't bothered to conceal any of my personal information. It's all available in my Profile.

    And what is the result of this you might wonder? Nothing that I've noticed aside from a couple of letters from solicitors.

    Chances are a lot of people in RL know who you are, does that mean you're in constant fear for your life? I'm guessing not.

    You can spoof your IP, even your MAC address, it's really not that hard.

  4. @ Matthew.. "Without identity there is no accountability" I find to be an extremely suspect statement, and one that worries me in it's mantra-like repetition.
    The implication is that Identity=Accountability which is totally false..... e.g. Bernard Madoff, Gaddafi, Adolf Hitler...etc... and every con man/woman that ever lived.
    No morality is connected to a 'real' name, which is also inferred....

  5. I also would be happy to point out to Matthew that I can walk a street or a mall or a beach among a thousand strangers and be anonymous in RL. They do not have the right to ask me to open my wallet, show my ID or identify myself in any way.

    In fact, we ARE anonymous in the "real" world quite often. To pretend or assert otherwise is either completely and negligently uninformed or pushing some kind of agenda and drinking the Koolaid of this pressure towards "total accountability."

    So let me turn that around to my Senators; to corporate maneuvers, to behind-the-scenes deals. Let me have their phone numbers, their physical addresses, their emails. Let me snoop on their correspondence like they wish to mine. Who knows? One of them might be a terrorist agent, right? I mean... if it can be ANYONE... it can certainly be a congressman, boardroom head or lobbyist. See how ridiculous that sounds, turned around?

    Until we have complete and total transparency, especially and including people like Bank of America (see my blog for info about BofA soliciting illegal acts of espionage and hacking) then I will protect my right to be anonymous as the Founders of this nation had the foresight to enshrine in the Constitution.

  6. boy, this is quite an issue and i think it depends on how the person has defined their avatar identity

    mine was always as an alter ego but still an extension of myself. my virtual world "stuff" is almost entirely for myself, it is not trying to add to the resume of the real me. this makes it easy, for me in my head, to keep me separate from Ener Hax

    it's like when i was a volunteer firefighter, as soon as i pulled on the very flattering mongo huge pants, my attitude changed - it was all about serving others. but when the pants came off (sounds dirty), i carried very little of that part of me into my normal self

    but we had one guy on the department whose firefighter part really defined him overall. he had a red truck, bought his own lights and siren for it, and so on. there was nothing wrong with that, but it was a big part of him as a whole person

    i guess for me, it is a modular component that when i am not logged on, i have other interests (like cooking, family, real work, writing)

    oh, and as far as accountability - i think the "identity" and validity of Ener Hax is fairly sincere. i have put a lot of time and energy in developing her. she is like a brand name - Nike is no one single person but they are accountable

  7. Yep, Ener, that is pretty much how I see it too.