How private are PM's?

Discussion in 'Site Help and Suggestions' started by Parris, Sep 7, 2007.

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  1. Parris

    Parris I'm only here to observe...

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    I have sat looking at a PM sent to me last night by DRussian. I read it before going to bed and did so again this morning. We are in the middle of a trade and I needed to grab his address.

    However, I noticed that during the night "SPAM SPAM SPAM SPAM" had appeared in the text where another site or user had been mentioned regarding spare parts for the kit I am obtaining.

    (Yeah, I am obtaining another dead or dying unit lol)

    So, thinking "that's odd, I didn't think Drussian (or anyone else) could edit a sent email" I decided to ask him about it. Guess what, he never did it!

    My query is, just how secure are these PM's and just how private? I mean "Private Message" surely means that?

    Why would anyone want to filter out another website, link, hyperlink or perhaps another users details regarding spare parts?

    Anyone else been experiencing this and can we have some form of assurance that our "Private" discussions are not being read for some reason please.

    Thanks!
     
  2. kammedo

    kammedo and the lost N64 Hardware Docs

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    Wooohoo....ooook. Now this can get you easily anxious...Any clues?
     
  3. Parris

    Parris I'm only here to observe...

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    Absolutely nothing. It's not like we are illegally chatting about anything deeply in-depth. It's a development kit with a damaged set of dipswitches and a possible video fault. DRussian happened to mention names (neither of which I took on board, but as it's Sega related I would imagine Mark was one of them).

    In the morning the second set of details was deleted out with SPAM SPAM SPAM SPAM several times over - right in the middle of PM text from last night. Weird!
     
  4. Parris

    Parris I'm only here to observe...

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    If it was something automatic, it would have happened the night before and I'd have just thought DRussian had gone a bit weird lol
     
  5. DRussian

    DRussian Dauntless Member

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    LOL, thought i`d gone a bit weird.

    On a serious note It is quite alarming as we definitely werent saying anything particularly confidential or something that we wouldnt say openly on the forum. It has obviously been cut and pasted as some of the SPAM SPAM is over lapped SPAMSPAM.

    Very interesting stuff.
     
  6. port187

    port187 Serial Chiller

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    Parris, maybe it's time to change your password as maybe another members has obtained or guessed it somehow.
     
  7. diddydonn

    diddydonn Familiar Face

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    or maybe one of the mods has a unhealthy fetish for processed meat in a tin,

    but seriously it is quite worrying though, as a lot of deals on here are done though private messaging
     
  8. madhatter256

    madhatter256 Illustrious Member

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    Technically Assembler can get access to them as he is the Admin. I remember him posting about it before a while ago when this site was having trouble with some members.
     
  9. Barc0de

    Barc0de Mythical Member from Time Immemorial

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    What worries me is that the joining agreement of the forums mention nothing on the status of PMs, whether they are accessible by anyone, noone, or someone. This could attract all sorts of liabilities if any loss is incured =p
     
  10. Parris

    Parris I'm only here to observe...

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    I'd understand it if for instance I or Drussian had been creating waves or causing issues with other AG members, perhaps something was implicated in the conduct or behaviour of either of us, but frankly I don't think either of us have A) anything to hide (other than other peoples personal details because I have been dealing with people on PM) or B) that anyone has suggested we are particularly disruptive members.
     
  11. Parris

    Parris I'm only here to observe...

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    Password changed - can't imagine how anyone would have either guessed or found it, but I am keeping an eye on this as I agree with Barc0de the implications of anyone having access (for no reason) to people's PM's is rather more serious than just innocent administrative rights.

    Kev wouldn't do that SPAM SPAM nonsense btw - it's not like him, and it served no purpose other than to alert Drussian and me to a back door. If one already exists and Kev has (is) using it and has already admitted it, he is hardly likely to annouce the fact in this manner.

    I say 3rd party.

    From now on my PM'ing on AG is strictly limited - anyone who knows me or wants to trade can do it via another option. ;-)
     
  12. port187

    port187 Serial Chiller

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    If I read it correctly it has overwritten only the part of text were another site is mentioned were maybe previously somebody has left spam here on the forum about, or for any other reason thinkable.
    Anyway I have build several forums up from scratch before and I know there is an cencord words option in most of them were you can have the forum replace text that has been banned somehow.
    So to not go in to insane conspiracy stories it may be that one of the admins of whoever has the right to do so applied this filter during the night and by luck you noticed it ( the only thing I do not remember tho is if this filtering thing would affect the PM section as well as It was only tested in the main threads ) anyway is that or somebody is messing with you personally as we didn't get any other similar comments come up until now in this thread.. I may be wrong off course ;)
     
  13. port187

    port187 Serial Chiller

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    You could send me a PM with this site mentioned or whatever was replace in your PM to see if the same thing will happen to me..
     
  14. Parris

    Parris I'm only here to observe...

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    I'd need to leave that ro Drussian as I immediately went through the PM's and deleted them quicker than you could think. Various members had been posting me their address, I had sent a IBAC bank number etc. It's all safe, but I don't like the idea of people having access to that sort of information when it is none of their business.

    You are right, perhaps something was kicked in over night. Certainly the text was not offensive or of a libelous nature (not even any swear words).

    The kit I am getting is Sega related and that was about all that was mentioned i.e. where to possible get assistence with repair advice.

    Perhaps Drussian can shed some light on that. The singluar lack of any other SPAM text coming up on any other PM's (either in my box or anyone elses) is what makes me think this is potentially someone messing around.

    But hey, hopefully this has a happy outcome and someone says "Er, it was me..." or "that was an admin option I ticked last night".

    Not into consipracies either - for one thing, I am hardly likely to be at the centre of it as frankly nothing is happening in my PM's that is SO secretive or important.
     
  15. DRussian

    DRussian Dauntless Member

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    I`m afraid i can`t for the life of me figure out what was deleted, it wasnt a name or web address, just part of an insignificant sentence.

    It really appears to have been done manually as some of the text overlapped.

    I also have some bank detail information in PM`s and i`m sure a lot of other members do too.
     
  16. drx

    drx BLAST PROCESSING. SITE SUPPORTER 2015

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    Maybe it's just an automatic spam filter that caught the unfortunate string and changed it? I believe there are some new spam filters in place, that would pretty much explain it.

    IANAL, but in most countries reading private correspondence without the persons' consent is illegal, so you wouldn't really need any agreements.

    Most message board scripts (like this one) have some sort of an interface to read people's PMs or another. And even if they didn't, admins still can view the database records for PMs and read them anyway (unless they are encrypted in a way that admins cannot view them)

    I would put the tin foil hats away though.
     
  17. Parris

    Parris I'm only here to observe...

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    Thankfully I don't think we've quite descended to the "tin foil hats" type situation LOL ;-)

    From now on I'll be keeping a tighter check on what information is requested / sent via PM.
     
  18. Barc0de

    Barc0de Mythical Member from Time Immemorial

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    the public using the boards should be informed whether or not PMs are confidential or not, so a person can decide whether or not to use them as confidential means of communication. Any illegitimacy that may arise will be founded in this, subject to national laws of course.

    The reason that I am saying is this is not because someone will want to sue someone else, but that there are people who will just choose another medium for sensetive exchange of information, if they are presented with such a warning.
     
  19. DRussian

    DRussian Dauntless Member

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    The thing is, if people were actively reading the PM`s that are sent would they then jeapordise it by showing themselves in such a blatant way. I mean how big a Monty Python fan can you be!
     
  20. DRussian

    DRussian Dauntless Member

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    I totally agree, I must admit to not fully reading all terms and conditions as and when they are presented to me.
     
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