PM System

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david63
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PM System

Post by david63 » Sun Jun 04, 2017 7:23 am

What I am suggesting here is both contentious and controversial and has been discussed, at length, many times in the past but I believe that now is the time for it to be revisited.

In the current climate there is a possibility that the PM system of any board software, not just phpBB, can be used for terrorist activity. I have no evidence that it has, or that it will in the future, but the possibility is that it could be due to the fact that it is unmonitored and there is no trail.

There are two things that I want to propose:

1. PMs are either "soft" deleted by users or they are logged. Personally I would go for the logging option as it will be easier to implement and manage. That way there will be a trail that can be followed which we do not have now (a user can send a message and when read delete it and nobody knows anything about it).

2. Provide a statistic of the ratio of PMs to posts for each user. This would give a quick insight if there were users using the board for PMing rather than posting.

OK - one argument will be that these could be catered for by extensions but that would require Admins to install them and that is not what this is about. It is about having something in the core that applies to all boards.

It will only be a matter of time before there will some legislation passed in one country or another making this a requirement so let's try and get ahead of the game and if we can shut down one potential communication channel then let's do it.

Yes there will be some board Admins who will get indignant and say that they will move to another board software and yes there will be some users who, when they find out that this is being done, will state that they will never use phpBB boards again.

Why now? Without getting political I am from the UK and we are currently the target for terrorists - last year it was France, and who knows who it will be next year. I live not 30 miles from Manchester where 22 were killed two weeks ago in an area that I have visited. I live not five miles from where one of the victims went to college - so yes it is close to me, but nowhere near as it is to many, many others who are personally involved.

If making a few minor changes to phpBB software can go some way to perhaps at least making life a bit more difficult for terrorists then it is something that should be considered.

Please can we have a reasoned discussion about this without any "burying of heads in the sand" saying that it is not our responsibility, or we have not done this in the past so there is no need for change.
David
Remember: You only know what you know -
and you do not know what you do not know!

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Marc
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Re: PM System

Post by Marc » Sun Jun 04, 2017 9:43 am

First of, I get that recent events in the UK might cause some to question ways of getting ahead of things. Even forums themselves (not just he PM system) can be used by potential terrorists. Per se, even that is unmonitored. What you're asking for here is basically what the NSA and GCHQ have been doing anyway (hi there btw !). It is not our responsibility to play police or to save communication that was deleted by the users. There is even legislation that requires data to be deleted.

I also do think this thinking of saving everything is rather worry-some. Replace phpBB's PM system by free speech in your post and see where it gets you. Don't let fear take away your freedom.

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BioLogIn
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Re: PM System

Post by BioLogIn » Sun Jun 04, 2017 11:55 am

I would also add Russia's sad experience to Marc's words.

While having soft delete or additional PM functionality might benefit phpbb, I would urge to discuss it without taking politics or terrorists into account.

In Russia, our government officials use exactly this "terrorist threat" rhetoric to control and/or shut down independent communication channels (chats, messengers) used, in fact, by protesters (see http://blog.zello.com/2017/04/13/russia-blocks-zello/ and partially this http://www.reuters.com/article/us-tecne ... SKBN18204J). There were also multiple attempts by Russian parliament members using this rhetoric to wrestle controls of commercial assets such as videogames (such as World of Tanks or World of Warcraft) with build-in chats by scaring away investors/owners and having their associates benefit from this.

Therefore, I would hate to see phpbb implementing additional monitoring tools (that's, fortunately, is not exactly what OP suggests, but again, I've heard same rhetoric leading to weirder things) that could potentially be used by a corrupt government. If such features would be implemented, I would consider manually removing them to be my responsibility to my users.

Also, to track PMs and other content it is much easier to set up regular (possibily incremental) backups. This can be done either using phpbb ACP or using external tools.

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3Di
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Re: PM System

Post by 3Di » Mon Jun 05, 2017 3:29 am

As Mark said, that's something which I do agree with.
Don't let fear take away your freedom.
And don't limit each other's freedom by restrictions, that's something not politically correct IMHO.

First time I chime in a "political" discussion, last one for me.

Be free for yourself, be free. (Cit.)
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Louis7777
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Re: PM System

Post by Louis7777 » Mon Jun 05, 2017 7:09 am

I opened this thinking it would be about having a separate PM module and dropdown notifications. Disappointed.

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Ger
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Re: PM System

Post by Ger » Thu Jun 08, 2017 12:08 pm

Marc wrote:
Sun Jun 04, 2017 9:43 am
First of, I get that recent events in the UK might cause some to question ways of getting ahead of things. Even forums themselves (not just he PM system) can be used by potential terrorists. Per se, even that is unmonitored. What you're asking for here is basically what the NSA and GCHQ have been doing anyway (hi there btw !). It is not our responsibility to play police or to save communication that was deleted by the users. There is even legislation that requires data to be deleted.

I also do think this thinking of saving everything is rather worry-some. Replace phpBB's PM system by free speech in your post and see where it gets you. Don't let fear take away your freedom.
QFT.

Remember: there will ALWAYS be a way to communicate without traces. Many of which that are way easier then using the PM system like TS described.

What about me going by a friend of mine talk about our anger and decide to step into any vehicle with >3 wheels while carrying some kitchen knives. No digital logging system can prevent that.

How do you think the IRA communicated in the past? They've taken many more lives in their last active decade before the Good Friday agreement than all the terrorist attacks in Europe since then. And all that without WhatsApp, Facebook, Telegram or phpBB.
Above message may contain errors in grammar, spelling or wrongly chosen words. This is because I'm not a native speaker. My apologies in advance.

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AmigoJack
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Re: PM System

Post by AmigoJack » Fri Jun 30, 2017 7:36 am

Ger wrote:
Thu Jun 08, 2017 12:08 pm
any vehicle with >3 wheels
Excellent - you won't see me coming on my bicycle with my knife collection on the rack.


@david63: please change the subject of your post into something like "PM surveillance", as that is more precise to what this topic is about. I, too, expected everything but this.

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Jacob
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Re: PM System

Post by Jacob » Sat Jul 01, 2017 1:07 am

david63 wrote:
Sun Jun 04, 2017 7:23 am
due to the fact that it is unmonitored and there is no trail.
All internet activity is logged and can be monitored at will by our friends at different intelligence agencies. Only a minuscule percent of data is really analysed, obviously, but that is not our problem, and can't be our problem.

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VSE
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Re: PM System

Post by VSE » Sat Jul 01, 2017 6:46 am

Louis7777 wrote:
Mon Jun 05, 2017 7:09 am
I opened this thinking it would be about having a separate PM module and dropdown notifications. Disappointed.
LOL!!!

I'm just glad this wasn't a topic about removing the PM system or turning it into an extension.
Has an irascible disposition.

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3Di
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Re: PM System

Post by 3Di » Sun Jul 02, 2017 5:27 am

Yeah.

Btw, "We will not change our habits - the enemy is fear and we are not afraid."

I wish I was there, anyway. 225.000 people (yes) tonight got fun all together, that's the record absolute ever.

One self-injured, one dead for a heart collapse. RIP.

http://www.ilsecoloxix.it/p/multimedia/ ... ta.shtml#1
http://www.ilsecoloxix.it/p/multimedia/ ... co.shtml#1
http://www.ilsecoloxix.it/rw/IlSecoloXI ... XIXWEB.JPG
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