NEW POLICY regarding U2Us (PRIVATE messages)

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posted on Oct, 12 2007 @ 11:50 AM
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It has become obvious that we need to be very specific about posting U2Us that members send to members or that staff send to members. The point of a private message system, (U2U) is to offer the ability to communicate in a private way, out of the public eye.

Effective immediately U2Us are NOT to be posted or publically displayed in any way without the written permission of the author.

The pertinent TAC section follows:


2f.) Private Messages: You will not use the private messaging system (U2U) to send mass messages to multiple member accounts. All private messages are subject to these terms and conditions, violations will result in immediate account termination. You also agree that "U2Us" (Private Messages) are confidential. You will not post or publically display U2Us received from ATS staff or other members, in any way, without the written permission of the author.


If you receive "off color", illegal or threatening U2Us you are certainly encouraged to post in the non public Complaints forum or pass them on to any staff member for appropriate action to be taken.

Springer...




posted on Oct, 12 2007 @ 12:40 PM
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Double thumbs-up. Likin' the ethic. Been "bit on the bum" by this a time or two... no biggie for me but when I put myself into the shoes of others... this seem a reasonable notion that can only protect and enhance the member experience. Confidence is good. Bravo!

Cheers,

Vic



posted on Oct, 12 2007 @ 03:54 PM
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Thanks.. As there is good reason U2 are private.. Many people here are very kewl and open minded.. Yet there are those who have many issues and you just simply can not talk openly about some things on ATS. So this is a good idea.. Keep it private.. thats what its for!!
Unless like you said if you are given permisson to post in public..

Ive seen a couple people break those trusts.. But lucky for me everyone I have talked to have been very respectful of me, and nothing got out of hand.. But mind you I am very careful about who I talk to in private, and just what I tell them..

Some people are here just to make troubles for people.. Not to mention any names. but that girl comes here under many false names, and loves drama...

Peace



posted on Oct, 12 2007 @ 04:36 PM
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I think that this is a good thing to enforce in a strict way...

The beauty of a "private" U2U system is the ability to send a member something that you just don't want others to read... If that privacy is violated, I can see members hesitant to use this feature, and that is a shame...

Good Going!!!

Semper



posted on Oct, 12 2007 @ 07:49 PM
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I agree.

If I have gone against the terms and conditions...I believe I have.

Put a warn against me.

It's ok.

Let me be an example.

Show others what not to do.



posted on Oct, 12 2007 @ 07:53 PM
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By the way, I have a question about U2U private messaging system.


Please Note: Your U2U communications are subject to review in the event we receive reports of private communications outside the boundaries of the site Terms & Conditions. Abusive private messages may result in immediate account termination.


What does that mean, by "subject to review"? Are you guys reading every users' personal private messages?

Thanks for any input.



posted on Oct, 12 2007 @ 07:53 PM
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Thank you Springer, I appreciate the added security this message gives. Now where's that remote? Back to the Travel Channel!



posted on Oct, 12 2007 @ 08:01 PM
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Originally posted by TheoOne
What does that mean, by "subject to review"? Are you guys reading every users' personal private messages?


No. We just want to be clear that we will if we need to. In fact, I'm the only one who can pull U2U messages from the database, which is only if we receive a complaint.



posted on Oct, 14 2007 @ 12:50 AM
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Originally posted by TheoOne
By the way, I have a question about U2U private messaging system.


Please Note: Your U2U communications are subject to review in the event we receive reports of private communications outside the boundaries of the site Terms & Conditions. Abusive private messages may result in immediate account termination.


What does that mean, by "subject to review"? Are you guys reading every users' personal private messages?

Thanks for any input.


SO so doesn't need to read all the U2U's!

He has his people at the NSA, CIA, MI5, MI6 etc, etc, etc, to do that for him.



MonKey



posted on Oct, 14 2007 @ 02:58 PM
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I don't want to start an argument here, and if the Amigos proclaim they don't/can't read U2Us, well, then, we have to take that on faith. After all, as they frequently remind us, they own the ball, the bat, the field, and everything in it. If you don't like it, then by God you can take your user provided content somewhere else and find another game.

However, from a systems administration point of view (I've been one since 1993), they CAN be read. Whether they ARE being read is a different issue. Sys admins absolutely must have root-level access to do their jobs. There are too many things that can go wrong that require it. Root level access means read/write access to every file, and that means access to the U2U database. It may not be 'clean' access, i.e.: You can read mail with a clean program that formats it, or you can 'type' the file, a much dirtier form of access. But given that this is IS a 'conspiracy' site, anyone who is particularly paranoid about the privacy of their messages ought to use a back channel outside the control of ATS. This is not a criticism of ATS per se, it is simply prudent given the reality of the circumstances.

Further, although ATS has proclaimed in Terms & Conditions that thou shalt not post a U2U without the poster's permission, if you were to post a U2U outside the ATS system, you would not run afoul of law. It is a well-known and long-established tenant that the recipient owns the message, not the sender. This has been proven time and again in courts dealing with letters back into the eighteenth century. Many a 'Dear John' letter has been in this predicament. ATS could, of course, ban you from ATS for doing so and you could still be subject to a civil procedure if ATS chose to sue in civil court for violating terms and conditions of your 'contract' with ATS, but given the tenants of the law outside ATS, they would have to choose their venue very carefully. It would be an interesting contest. Can you simply declare a point of law null and void by contract? Well, maybe.

There is another issue. Though this may seem a tenuous possibility, consider a fictitious scenario where it was discovered, for example, that ATS was actually responsible for the Drone Hoax and U2Us proved this was so because the discussion was well prior to their appearance. They did this to increase page views, ATS revenue, and buzz about the ATS site. It was a calculated move to increase traffic at the expense of denying ignorance.

Let us say someone could prove damages resulting from this hoax. For example, Linda Moulton Howe's reputation suffered because she embraced the Drones and even proclaimed an intentional fake 'proof of concept' as real. (I realize this last is her problem.) Since her reputation affects her livelihood, she could prove damages. In this scenario the U2Us could be subject to court subpoena. Failing to comply with court dictates could subject ATS to sanctions. Plus, of course, the reputation of ATS would be in tatters by the end of this scenario.

Now this is a fictitious scenario, of course, but the point is to illustrate that your U2Us, from several different avenues, are not safe from prying eyes. They are not safe from ATS itself, which has a vested interest in what they say. They are not safe from your fellow members, and they are not safe from a subpoena. You can declare them private all you want, but the fact is that ascii text can be copied, pasted, and dispensed no matter what you decree.

Just food for thought.



[edit on 10/14/2007 by schuyler]



posted on Oct, 14 2007 @ 03:54 PM
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Originally posted by schuyler
I don't want to start an argument here,


Me either. Just a conversation, no argument from me.


However, from a systems administration point of view (I've been one since 1993), they CAN be read.


SO says he CAN read them, just wouldn't unless it was the result of a complaint. Beyond SO, maybe no one else has sys admin rights, maybe. Since everyone's too busy to even read all the thread contents, I'm pretty sure there's no time to read all the u2u's. Which is a moot point if only SO has that capability.


But given that this is IS a 'conspiracy' site, anyone who is particularly paranoid about the privacy of their messages ought to use a back channel outside the control of ATS.


Hard to disagree with that. I personally don't have an issue, but I've never sent or received a u2u with anything that sensitive in it.


Further, although ATS has proclaimed in Terms & Conditions that thou shalt not post a U2U without the poster's permission, if you were to post a U2U outside the ATS system, you would not run afoul of law.


Of course not. There are plenty of things (courtesy being mandatory, for example) that you agree to to be able to participate; none of which would get you prosecuted if you violate them.


Can you simply declare a point of law null and void by contract? Well, maybe.


I don't think so. I mean, you can enter into all types of contracts, but a contract that violates any of the 5 elements making a contract enforceable (one of which is legality) would be... unenforceable.


There is another issue.
>SNIP<
Just food for thought.


Interesting scenario, although I don't see any danger of anything like that affecting me anytime soon. I think it's probably a "given" that there is no security, very little privacy, and nothing like a 100% guarantee anywhere. For anything. If someone is skilled enough, motivated enough, devious enough, powerful enough, you're probably screwed no matter what.

Personally, I'm relying on the security of obscurity.




posted on Oct, 14 2007 @ 06:28 PM
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Originally posted by yeahright
SO says he CAN read them, just wouldn't unless it was the result of a complaint. Beyond SO, maybe no one else has sys admin rights, maybe. Since everyone's too busy to even read all the thread contents, I'm pretty sure there's no time to read all the u2u's. Which is a moot point if only SO has that capability.

And I'm saying: Not a snowball's chance can that be true. Several people have root access. It's not possible for one person to do all that needs to be done on a site this large and complex. There is too much going on. Having said that I need to say loudly that I am not trying to disparage anyone at ATS or accuse them of anything--just pointing out a hole. If someone were interested or had a reason, it would be easy to write a script to search the U2U database for 'subjects of interest.' However, I certainly agree that the scrutiny of postings seems somewhat light and uneven--perhaps subject for another thread--which would indicate a busy busy place.


Personally, I'm relying on the security of obscurity.

I like the ring to that!



posted on Oct, 14 2007 @ 06:41 PM
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I would think unless there is a complaint, that u2u's are private and no one has access to them.
If there is a threatening one, it can very easily be forwarded to the owners or to the mods on duty.

I hope we have a right to privacy.



posted on Oct, 15 2007 @ 06:35 AM
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Originally posted by schuyler
It's not possible for one person to do all that needs to be done on a site this large and complex. There is too much going on.


This goes to show how important SO is to ATS. He IS the only one with root access. It is important for people to remember that SO is the man in charge of I.T. for ATS. While we all have different functions, it is he who carries out database administration and site programming.

While in emergencies SO may turn over access to another member of staff who is IT-literate for a temporary period, it is certainly true no one interrogates the system for this information but him.



posted on Oct, 15 2007 @ 10:04 AM
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reply to post by schuyler
 



Maybe back in 1993 a site like this would require multiple people to have read/write but S.O. does it ALL here. He is the ONLY admin with full access to the db.

There have been days where he's had to "dig" for 18 hours to find a bug or a bad piece of legacy code from pre upgrade times but generally the site, the db and all the rest hum along nicely with little human intervention.

It's all about setting things up correctly on the front end, data base, software, hardware, etc... It's expensive up front but much more cost effective in the long run.

We do have an "Admin Panel" with very limited functionality ie "delete member", "restrict name", add/subtract points, that sort of thing but NO U2U review capability, that's only accessed by S.O. and it requires him to be on his "registered" IP address.


Springer...



posted on Oct, 25 2007 @ 01:04 PM
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Holy crap! As the CEO of my own internet company I wouldn't even know what to do with root access. Or let me rephrase, I know just enough to be dangerous.

I actually do leave it up to one person, same as here.

Schuyler, I do see your point though and it is food for thought as you said.

I just wish this U2U rule had been in place last year but better late than never.



posted on Nov, 12 2007 @ 04:05 AM
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Ok guys, I have a question...

According to the T&C,


2f.) Private Messages: You will not use the private messaging system (U2U) to send mass messages to multiple member accounts. All private messages are subject to these terms and conditions, violations will result in immediate account termination. You also agree that "U2Us" (Private Messages) are confidential. You will not post or publically display U2Us received from ATS staff or other members, in any way, without the written permission of the author.

[Emphasis mine.]

Is this a globally accepted thing on ATS? Does this apply to all members?

The reason that I ask is because I've been getting updates from ATS when a big event is happening on the site, notifying me of it. I like those, but it IS a mass-email; it even says so at the bottom of the message. Are these going away, and if so, what's supplementing them? If not, then is there a way to address this in the T&C?

Just wanted to toss that out there..

TheBorg



posted on Nov, 12 2007 @ 04:18 AM
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reply to post by TheBorg
 


The Admin is of course allowed to send mass u2us.



posted on Nov, 12 2007 @ 04:26 AM
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Well, I was just curious, because that's not expressly implied in the T&C, unless we're to take the word "You" as meaning anyone but the administrator. Also, it does say that ALL U2Us are subject to this new rule, so that should include the admin's ones as well, right?

I was just bringing it up as a point of interest is all.

Thanks for being so prompt Hellmutt,
TheBorg

[Edited for "Also..." sentence.]

[edit on 12-11-2007 by TheBorg]



posted on Nov, 12 2007 @ 04:40 AM
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Originally posted by TheBorg

Also, it does say that ALL U2Us are subject to this new rule, so that should include the admin's ones as well, right?

What should we do if they do anyway? Ban them and have total anarchy?





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