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Thanks to everyone for the feedback on what errors you encountered at https://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=33904.0
Corrected several already and appreciate your patience as we work through the rest.

Author Topic: Chat is down?  (Read 18469 times)

Rothman

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Re: Chat is down?
« Reply #75 on: April 04, 2023, 04:28:43 PM »

There must be a financial incentive to log IP addresses.
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Please note: All comments here represent my own personal opinion and do not reflect the official position(s) of NYSDOT.

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Re: Chat is down?
« Reply #76 on: April 04, 2023, 06:12:30 PM »

There is quite a few people who are active in it.  Apparently the demand is enough that alternate options are being discussed off forum.  The hook seems to be that forum chat wasn’t logged?

This is certainly a big part of the appeal: what you say in an AJAX chatroom is not scraped to build a consumer profile of you for advertising purposes, nor can it be subpoenaed by courts because there is no permanent record of it. It is therefore a nice safe space for discussing some things people might, for various reasons, not be comfortable discussing somewhere that doesn't offer this level of innate privacy protection.

Most internet forums that used to have their own chat do seem to have given up and just created a Discord server instead. But Discord, like all modern social media, is permanently logged so does not offer AJAX's privacy benefit. It also requires that you have a Discord account in order to use it, which will be a barrier to adoption for some.
What kind of freaking things are you guys talking about in the chat that would make you fear THAT much? I understand worrying about privacy to some extent, but seriously?
Considering two people are concerned - we will talk about personal medical issues, family/relationship, personal stuff we don't want to air on a forum or have to look back on in the future (like FB chat that maintains a history).

Scott5114

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Re: Chat is down?
« Reply #77 on: April 04, 2023, 07:16:57 PM »

There is a lot of people in the chat circles who are involved in government work.  You tend to have to exercise some caution with what you say on public platforms as a government employee.  Although, I find the prospect of anything from a chat session being used against someone in an employment hearing to be so minuscule that it’s probably not worth worrying about.

Eh, I'd be as careful in there as I am on here, anyway.  There are more reasonable things to be cautious of than thinking a subpoena's coming your way from something said on here or in Chat.

   

As one who has never gotten into real-time chat, be it here or IRC or anywhere else -- think the old AOL chat rooms which never had much appeal to me as an AOL user -- this isn't a real concern of mine. I tend to do online stuff on my own schedule and really don't feel the need to participate in things of that nature.

But this makes me wonder about something on a much larger scale. Why do ISPs, platforms, etc., log IP addresses? It seems to me that keeping a record of IP logins just opens them up to a bunch of unwanted legal scrutiny, such as warrants or the aforementioned subpoenas.

There was a case out of Georgia involving the Topix forums several years ago. If anyone doesn't remember Topix, it was an online forum/bulletin board where one could either post as a registered user or a non-permanent username that could be changed with each individual post. Subforums existed for most every community, and a lot of rumors and gossip were posted there. Someone in a Georgia community took exception to something that was posted on Topix, they got a court order for the poster's IP, and legal action followed. I do not remember if it was a civil case or if criminal charges were filed. At any rate, Topix ended up shutting down their community forums sometime after that.

It always occurred to me that if Topix had not logged IP addresses, that whole situation would have been avoided. And I say this as someone whose name got mentioned derogatorily on local Topix boards in more than one community.

If I was running something like that, I wouldn't log IP addresses.

Because if someone tries to hack into the site, you need a record of the IP address they used so you can block the attack.

Because if someone is using multiple accounts abusively, usually the only hard evidence you have of that is their IP address.

Because if you're running a for-profit site, you need to know how often your customers are visiting the site and where they're from, so you can market to them meet their needs more effectively.

C'mon, H.B., I know you can do the contrarian song and dance better than this. I'm disappointed.
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Duke87

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Re: Chat is down?
« Reply #78 on: April 05, 2023, 07:55:35 PM »

I am not so sure the chat is (was) unloggable--in principle one could have a net logger open in Firefox or Chrome and then save a HAR.

It wouldn't log by default, though. The regulars also all agreed upon "no logging" as a rule, and for the most sensitive things AJAX supports direct messaging between just two users (which means no one else can log it because they can't see it).
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Re: Chat is down?
« Reply #79 on: April 06, 2023, 06:42:25 AM »

There is a lot of people in the chat circles who are involved in government work.  You tend to have to exercise some caution with what you say on public platforms as a government employee.  Although, I find the prospect of anything from a chat session being used against someone in an employment hearing to be so minuscule that it’s probably not worth worrying about.

Eh, I'd be as careful in there as I am on here, anyway.  There are more reasonable things to be cautious of than thinking a subpoena's coming your way from something said on here or in Chat.

   

As one who has never gotten into real-time chat, be it here or IRC or anywhere else -- think the old AOL chat rooms which never had much appeal to me as an AOL user -- this isn't a real concern of mine. I tend to do online stuff on my own schedule and really don't feel the need to participate in things of that nature.

But this makes me wonder about something on a much larger scale. Why do ISPs, platforms, etc., log IP addresses? It seems to me that keeping a record of IP logins just opens them up to a bunch of unwanted legal scrutiny, such as warrants or the aforementioned subpoenas.

There was a case out of Georgia involving the Topix forums several years ago. If anyone doesn't remember Topix, it was an online forum/bulletin board where one could either post as a registered user or a non-permanent username that could be changed with each individual post. Subforums existed for most every community, and a lot of rumors and gossip were posted there. Someone in a Georgia community took exception to something that was posted on Topix, they got a court order for the poster's IP, and legal action followed. I do not remember if it was a civil case or if criminal charges were filed. At any rate, Topix ended up shutting down their community forums sometime after that.

It always occurred to me that if Topix had not logged IP addresses, that whole situation would have been avoided. And I say this as someone whose name got mentioned derogatorily on local Topix boards in more than one community.

If I was running something like that, I wouldn't log IP addresses.
And yet you proudly spoke on M.T.R. - which is now logged in Google Groups. (with no restrictor plates, of course)
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Re: Chat is down?
« Reply #80 on: April 06, 2023, 01:00:09 PM »

There is a lot of people in the chat circles who are involved in government work.  You tend to have to exercise some caution with what you say on public platforms as a government employee.  Although, I find the prospect of anything from a chat session being used against someone in an employment hearing to be so minuscule that it’s probably not worth worrying about.

Eh, I'd be as careful in there as I am on here, anyway.  There are more reasonable things to be cautious of than thinking a subpoena's coming your way from something said on here or in Chat.

   

As one who has never gotten into real-time chat, be it here or IRC or anywhere else -- think the old AOL chat rooms which never had much appeal to me as an AOL user -- this isn't a real concern of mine. I tend to do online stuff on my own schedule and really don't feel the need to participate in things of that nature.

But this makes me wonder about something on a much larger scale. Why do ISPs, platforms, etc., log IP addresses? It seems to me that keeping a record of IP logins just opens them up to a bunch of unwanted legal scrutiny, such as warrants or the aforementioned subpoenas.

There was a case out of Georgia involving the Topix forums several years ago. If anyone doesn't remember Topix, it was an online forum/bulletin board where one could either post as a registered user or a non-permanent username that could be changed with each individual post. Subforums existed for most every community, and a lot of rumors and gossip were posted there. Someone in a Georgia community took exception to something that was posted on Topix, they got a court order for the poster's IP, and legal action followed. I do not remember if it was a civil case or if criminal charges were filed. At any rate, Topix ended up shutting down their community forums sometime after that.

It always occurred to me that if Topix had not logged IP addresses, that whole situation would have been avoided. And I say this as someone whose name got mentioned derogatorily on local Topix boards in more than one community.

If I was running something like that, I wouldn't log IP addresses.
And yet you proudly spoke on M.T.R. - which is now logged in Google Groups. (with no restrictor plates, of course)

Well, yes, and I didn't use the "no-archive" header, but that's a public forum and I posted publicly, not behind a made-up name.

With an IP address, you can find an anonymous user's identity. Had I posted on Usenet with a name like "Mickey" (to recall one of Randy's infamous usernames) then I could have remained anonymous -- at least to the extent of how visible or invisible IP addresses are on Usenet posts.
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J N Winkler

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Re: Chat is down?
« Reply #81 on: April 06, 2023, 01:33:34 PM »

With an IP address, you can find an anonymous user's identity. Had I posted on Usenet with a name like "Mickey" (to recall one of Randy's infamous usernames) then I could have remained anonymous -- at least to the extent of how visible or invisible IP addresses are on Usenet posts.

It's been a while since I used Usenet with an email client configured as a newsreader, but I recall that each post has a bunch of IP addresses as part of the routing headers that are not normally displayed in email clients or Web-based readers like Google Groups.  Generally there is a line beginning "Received from . . . (IP address)."

Typically you don't get true anonymity unless you use a throwaway email account with a VPN that will accept payment through a means (such as Bitcoin) that can be made difficult or impossible to trace.
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Scott5114

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Re: Chat is down?
« Reply #82 on: April 06, 2023, 07:17:40 PM »

With an IP address, you can find an anonymous user's identity.

Eh...not really. Theoretically, it's possible, but it's impractical because in most cases a user can be assigned a brand new IP address by just restarting their modem. That makes it impossible without the ISP's records of which account has which IP address at what time. And a moderator of a web forum or whatever isn't going to have access to that kind of record.

In any case, there are far more reliable methods to track users than IP address, anyway. A server can query a browser for the operating system version, browser name and version, and list of fonts installed on it. These are all legitimate queries that a user has an interest in allowing the browser to provide, since having that information allows the server to serve pages that operate correctly with the user's system. However, it is very rare for two users of a site to have exactly the same set of responses to the three queries. So it provides a unique "browser fingerprint" that can be tracked from page to page.
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LilianaUwU

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Re: Chat is down?
« Reply #83 on: April 06, 2023, 07:19:15 PM »

In any case, the Chat link on the dashboard has been removed. RIP.
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Re: Chat is down?
« Reply #84 on: April 06, 2023, 07:23:35 PM »

In any case, the Chat link on the dashboard has been removed. RIP.

 I was planning on going to the chat before it was removed… :-(
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