Thursday, July 21, 2011

you kiss me like potted plants, bite me like fire ants

While I was out in the wilds beyond the grid today, a very, very old JIRA issue EXPLODED. I sifted through the shards, and am bringing the best--and most relevant--to you.

It started this morning with a comment from Izabel Muircastle:
RedZone is dead.... but have a look here
So I had a look there. The link leads to six items from the "Voodoo Anti-Bot Mainstore", including such gems as the "Free Anti-GreenZone Script" (which purports to work with RedZone equipment), the L$700 Anti-Bot unit (which purports to detect and untraceably ban all bots AND alts, in addition to severely discriminating against blind users of SL), and the L$500 Voodoo Sploder, which not only somehow "guarantees" to be Linden-approved as a non-gambling device (I call shenanigans on that), BUT in addition to banning more suspected bots and alts, it disallows anyone playing from the same IP, anywhere on the grid.

Okay. I'm sold. Evil bastards. And?

Apparently, and this: several hours later, Monkey Wonder commented:
I own the business being defamed by Izabel Muircastle. (Who I have abuse reported)

Our security device does not scan IP addresses. It is exactly the same as a standard security orb, but it is networked to our server and retrieves a centralized blacklist.

We do not use any SL exploits and any IP addresses logged by the Voodoo Sploders (in verify mode only) are done so by people visiting our website.

This is explicitly allowed as per section 4.3 of the TOS
http://secondlife.com/corporate/tos.php

We have clear warnings in an LSL dialog and in IM before a user can visit our website, and they must also agree to our own terms of service before any IP is logged.
And I quote, from their own details page on the "Voodoo Sploder" entry:
♠ The verification ensures no two avatars using the same internet connection can enter more than one Voodoo Sploder grid wide.
If that's not blocking by IP, then what is it?

The next relevant comment (I thought) was from Vania Chaplin, a few posts below Monkey's intro volley:
You said: "Our security device does not scan IP addresses. It is exactly the same as a standard security orb, but it is networked to our server and retrieves a centralized blacklist."

And later said: "Any data we collect from our website is strictly confidential and never published."

Are your blacklist maintained only for your eyes, and never shared with your customers? Or the 'strictly confidential and never published' part is a lie?
A damned good question, methinks.

Monkey Wonder chimed in a bit after that:
We don't tend to ban people on our system for using text viewers, it was an early rule that we made obsolete a long time ago because as you suggested it is a legitimate way to connect to SL and there is nothing wrong with it. The website needs to be updated.
And I quote again, from the Anti-Bot Marketplace listing:
We also ban anyone using a text, or illegal viewer.
Wau. Monkey's lied twice in the same JIRA. Do I detect a whiff of zFire in this one?

From Corvan Nansen a bit farther down still, in response to Mr. Wonder:
"We do log IP addresses of visitors to the verify web page of our sploders to prevent people using lots of avatars to gain an unfair advantage in the sploder game." which means you are correlating alts, which is expressly forbidden by the Community Standards.
I would profoundly agree.

Azure Twine:
The fact is, you have chosen to use redzone as a marketing ploy for your product.
Yes. Openly, even.

Minerva Breda:
Let me be clear here:
1) your product records data.
2) this data links alts. (or you boasts of Anti alt are false)
3) you keep this data on a server (out of world)
4)you maintain what you believe is a bot list.
4A) you maintain what you believe is an alt list.
(neither of these [has] any basis in fact only suspicion. You are not Linden Labs you can only assume.)
5) Maintaining and linking lists of alts is Against the community standards.
6) This is not defamation these are facts from your own ads and form Soft's statements here.
7) Greenzone has nothing to do with this. This is [your] own doing.
I should note, the two edits made were made solely for purposes of clarity, and are small edits; you can verify that here. But I also agree fully with that list.

And finally, what ended this round of he-said/she-said, Alexa Linden coming in and calling everyone out as misbehaving:
All, this is a reminder that Jira is not a message board nor is it a forum. Unless your comments deal directly with the issue, has reproducible steps and [is] an actual bug, please take your discussion to out of Jira. Let me also remind you that personal attacks are not allowed in jira http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/PJIRA#Be_courteous
So, the end result of this flurry of "new" information?

1. I don't trust Monkey farther than I can throw his car, his pet, or his coffee cup if I have both hands tied behind my back. He's openly lied and seems defiant about it. This seems like yet another press nightmare for Linden Labs, and, depending on coding, possibly more federal- and/or Interpol-level fraud charges for the player behind Monkey.

2. Yet again we have this split going between the FacebookLifers and the sane people, namely: "If you have an alt, you're obviously a griefer/copybotter/bad person!" versus "You know, I have alts for very reasonably reasons, and go screw yourselves with something painful". I don't think that particular debate is ever going to be resolved; it's degenerated purely to the "Yuh-huh!"/"Nuh-UH!" stage.

So we'll wait and see...but I suspect that, if the case played out as RedZone did, Voodoo Anti-Bot devices are not long for this Second Life.

1 comment:

Teafish said...

That was interesting to read, I hadn't heard about his products. I only read your summary and not the actual JIRA but it sounds like he creates the database only from people who visit the website. That is much better than just visiting a sim and getting scanned without your permission. People who visit a website should know exactly what they are doing. It also helps that this is a sploder...not something I would be interested in using myself. I can't really imagine a system like this getting popular for shops or fairs or anything like that because this product makes it clear that its one IP per an avatar and few shop owners would be stupid enough to desire that.

With this system its very easy to not visit the webpage and avoid having IP read, also no alts could possibly be tracked without your consent unless you somehow forgot that you visited the website in the past on a different character.

I agree though that this is not a good thing to have. I wouldn't use his products and if a shop decided that every visitor had to visit his site I would stop shopping there. It's bad, just not nearly as sneaky and hard to avoid as redzone was.