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Keeping the Private Messaging (PM) System

Posted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 3:44 pm
by Bat Wing
To all users:

One of the topics up for debate as we move forward with some changes is whether or not we should keep the Private Messaging (PM) system here on the board, or turn it off.

Here are some facts...

The PM system is not really "private" as you may find defined in a dictionary. The contents of your message are stored on a server in plain text. The message also may be forwarded on to other users by the recipient.

In effect, your PM is not much more than a regular topic that is not available for most people to read.

I know that many of you may like to use that system for contacting other users to exchange info, or to set up sales transactions, or whatever. You could quite easily do this through email which would probably be closer to "private".

There have been a few complaints and accusations of PM's being read by others, and as far as I know, the only way this is being done is if someone forwards the message or quotes its contents.

There has been mention of encrypting the PM's, and yes, I believe there is a mod for the board software that may allow that, but it is not something I wish to pursue.

So, to put this issue to bed once and for all, we are opening the decision up to you to determine the direction we go.

It is a simple poll question for you to vote on. See the options above.

The poll will remain open for a week.

If the decision it to turn it off, we will give 30 days notice before that happens, to give everyone time to complete any transactions they may have in process, update their profile with valid contact email address, etc.

Re: Keeping the Private Messaging (PM) System

Posted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 3:50 pm
by FireCpt809
I dont have a problem with it. I feel as long as you arent doing anything Illegal or determental to the board why worry what is in the content. If your so worried about privacy then take it to an Email.

Re: Keeping the Private Messaging (PM) System

Posted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 3:55 pm
by YouHF
Bat Wing wrote:To all users:
I know that many of you may like to use that system for contacting other users to exchange info, or to set up sales transactions, or whatever. You could quite easily do this through email which would probably be closer to "private".

There have been a few complaints and accusations of PM's being read by others, and as far as I know, the only way this is being done is if someone forwards the message or quotes its contents.


If someone has privacy concerns, they can always choose to not use PMs. Just like a channel you don't like on the TV, don't tune to that channel!

Turning PMs off seems contrary to the stated purpose of some of the upcoming changes to this board.

Re: Keeping the Private Messaging (PM) System

Posted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 3:56 pm
by Tom in D.C.
So it's not really "private," but so what? It serves as a "semi-private" channel that is quick and convenient to use, especially to keep price negotiations on sales out of the public view, and most of us have our regular e-mail addresses listed and available here for use when and if needed for greater privacy.

Re: Keeping the Private Messaging (PM) System

Posted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 4:09 pm
by MT2000 man
I wholeheartedly think we should keep the PM system as is.

Through the years I've PM'ed TONS of different members, and that's how we go to know eachother better, by talking "off the fourms" if you will, via. PM.
So what if a Mod / Admin can read them. As long as your not talking about anything illegal, you shouldn't worry about it anyway.

So, I vote to keep the PM system as is !

Re: Keeping the Private Messaging (PM) System

Posted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 4:35 pm
by bezking
I agree with others. If you have nothing to hide you have nothing to fear. :) The PM platform is invaluable for following up on sales transactions and discussing issues or problems privately with other members.

Re: Keeping the Private Messaging (PM) System

Posted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 5:06 pm
by Johnny Galaga
Can Patrick Harrington see our PMs??? LOL. 8)

Re: Keeping the Private Messaging (PM) System

Posted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 5:21 pm
by ka8ypy
I say keep it, I have used to reply off of a thread to individuals on various subjects and matters.

DB

Re: Keeping the Private Messaging (PM) System

Posted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 5:33 pm
by rileym
I find the most valuable functionality of PM's to be that which allows one to see if the recipient has received the PM. I think, especially with purchases and trades, it offers buyers a quicker response from sellers and likewise.

Keep them

Posted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 5:58 pm
by craig
Nice extra feature. Keep it!

Re: Keeping the Private Messaging (PM) System

Posted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 6:01 pm
by jnglmassiv
While the suggestion that something called 'private messaging' may have been read is abhorrent, it should be understood that this system is perhaps more accurately called 'personal messages' and does not enjoy an expectation of privacy. Keep the system as-is but make clear the point that the system is subject to routine monitoring and moderation.

Re: Keeping the Private Messaging (PM) System

Posted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 11:44 pm
by msa
Keep it.

I know the system isn't private, but it is useful. There are times where someone might simply post "oh, and I have a bunch of parts for ____, contact me with what you're looking for."

If I'm just trying to establish whether or not they have what I want, a PM is fine. Many deals don't get past that stage, so please don't take that mechanism away from us.

I know they aren't private, and frankly, I just don't care. I only use them for informational purposes anyway.

Thanks

Re: Keeping the Private Messaging (PM) System

Posted: Sat Apr 23, 2011 3:32 am
by wavetar
Just to be clear, mods and admins cannot read PM's. The only way to do that would be to sift through the database at the back end. So it's a technical possibility, but I don't believe it happened. The only reason this is even being polled is because a couple of people have made the claim their PM's were read at some point over the years. Obviously they can opt not to use PM's if they truly feel that was the case.
It has been policy in the past if a member forwarded a PM request for RSS/CPS to a mod or admin, that we would then take action and give an RSS warning to the person who did the asking. I think this is probably why some people thought we read the PM's somehow. Otherwise we remained blissfully ignorant. Bat has expressed his desire to basically ignore this in the future...if RSS was asked for in a PM, we don't care and take no action anymore. So, if that's a concern, you can rest easy.

Re: Keeping the Private Messaging (PM) System

Posted: Sat Apr 23, 2011 6:58 am
by wkr518
With 300+ posts and a history of 200+ PMs I would like to see the PM system stay.Sometimes much easier than getting somebody to email you with infos or inquiries.
Glad to see the batboard not moving and things are being progressively tuned and reviewed.This forum has been priceless for me with tips/tricks and shared knowledge.Sometimes much better than calling 800 927 2744.:)

Re: Keeping the Private Messaging (PM) System

Posted: Sat Apr 23, 2011 8:56 am
by rc50won
Please keep the PMS - Personal Messaging System.

It has been an extraordinarily useful resource for getting things done without clogging up the normal posting areas.

M

Re: Keeping the Private Messaging (PM) System

Posted: Sat Apr 23, 2011 11:55 am
by mjhicks
rileym wrote:I find the most valuable functionality of PM's to be that which allows one to see if the recipient has received the PM. I think, especially with purchases and trades, it offers buyers a quicker response from sellers and likewise.


I agree with this. Not all email servers offer such. BTW I don't have other posts to any other forum because I am here mostly to aid a close friend in keeping up with contacts. The PM has been a great tool in my duties as an assistant. Please keep it going.

Re: Keeping the Private Messaging (PM) System

Posted: Sat Apr 23, 2011 12:43 pm
by Pj
Wavetar is correct. We can't even see passwords, PM's or whatnot. I for one don't even know how to get into the database even if I wanted to. The most we can do is create you a new password if the email system does not, but we can't see the exisiting password. I recently had to do this with K8TEK.

I vote(d) to keep the PM(s) system as well for all the important reasons. If you don't trust/use/want to use it, you can IM/email/call the other person - simple as that.

Re: Keeping the Private Messaging (PM) System

Posted: Sat Apr 23, 2011 4:30 pm
by MT2000 man
Ah, neat, thanks for clarifying that regarding the Admins / Mods being able to read the PM's. I always thought that most every discussion board the Mods / Admins automatically had access to everyones PM's. Guess I was wrong then :) :) Not that I would mind anyway, I just assumed that the PM system wasn't always totally 100% private.
BUT, like I said before, the PM system here is a GREAT tool to have, and I have communicated with MANY members here over the years via. PM.

Re: Keeping the Private Messaging (PM) System

Posted: Sat Apr 23, 2011 4:53 pm
by jackhackett
Johnny Galaga wrote:Can Patrick Harrington see our PMs??? LOL. 8)


Why would Schneider the building super want to read our PMs? ;)

Re: Keeping the Private Messaging (PM) System

Posted: Sat Apr 23, 2011 5:40 pm
by Radio Crazy
Keep the PM system, easy and convient way to Knee gotiate from the buy and sell posts, also its nice and easy to say hello to some of your forum buddies. Any thing of earth shattering importantance should be taken to personal emails or phone lines, which as we all know are not all that secure as well. Just ask the NSA,lol

Re: Keeping the Private Messaging (PM) System

Posted: Sun Apr 24, 2011 7:55 am
by gatekeep
I agree to keep the PM system. This is the internet, not someone's home, you need to know how to censor yourself. You have no expectation of privacy when your using someone else's website. As with anything, gotta know when and when not to open your mouth.

Re: Keeping the Private Messaging (PM) System

Posted: Sun Apr 24, 2011 8:40 am
by ka8ypy
gatekeep wrote:I agree to keep the PM system. This is the internet, not someone's home, you need to know how to censor yourself. You have no expectation of privacy when your using someone else's website. As with anything, gotta know when and when not to open your mouth.


Probably OT, but the above needs to be remembered when using someone else's website or forum and you get censored. Don't go crying about your First Amendment rights, because you have none in someone else's house.

Re: Keeping the Private Messaging (PM) System

Posted: Sun Apr 24, 2011 10:40 am
by com501
Keep the PM system.

Re: Keeping the Private Messaging (PM) System

Posted: Sun Apr 24, 2011 3:00 pm
by Wowbagger
The argument that the PM system is broken because somebody can share a PM after it has been received, and thus there is no privacy, is bogus. I can share ANY data I get my hands on - a PM, a public post, an email, even an encrypted PGP email that only I can decrypt can, once decrypted, be shared. If I can read it, I can share it.

However, the PM system serves a useful purpose - to allow somebody to, in effect, take somebody else to one side and make a comment that is intrinsically marked as "not for public consumption". Now, just as in real life, if I take somebody to one side and say "psst buddy XYZ" there is nothing stopping them from then shouting out "HEY EVERYBODY MY FLY WAS OPEN AND WOWBAGGER TOLD ME SO!"

But then there are a plethora of idiots in the world.

Keep the PM system.

Re: Keeping the Private Messaging (PM) System

Posted: Sun Apr 24, 2011 3:09 pm
by kb2crk
Wowbagger wrote:The argument that the PM system is broken because somebody can share a PM after it has been received, and thus there is no privacy, is bogus. I can share ANY data I get my hands on - a PM, a public post, an email, even an encrypted PGP email that only I can decrypt can, once decrypted, be shared. If I can read it, I can share it.

However, the PM system serves a useful purpose - to allow somebody to, in effect, take somebody else to one side and make a comment that is intrinsically marked as "not for public consumption". Now, just as in real life, if I take somebody to one side and say "psst buddy XYZ" there is nothing stopping them from then shouting out "HEY EVERYBODY MY FLY WAS OPEN AND WOWBAGGER TOLD ME SO!"

But then there are a plethora of idiots in the world.

Keep the PM system.



Well said

Re: Keeping the Private Messaging (PM) System

Posted: Sun Apr 24, 2011 3:21 pm
by The Pager Geek
Typical: A couple of whiny conspiracy cry-babies who got their feelings hurt ran to dad to "make significant changes" because mom yelled at them.

Grow up.

Keep the PM

tpg

Re: Keeping the Private Messaging (PM) System

Posted: Sun Apr 24, 2011 4:11 pm
by com501
Wowbagger wrote:The argument that the PM system is broken because somebody can share a PM after it has been received, and thus there is no privacy, is bogus. I can share ANY data I get my hands on - a PM, a public post, an email, even an encrypted PGP email that only I can decrypt can, once decrypted, be shared. If I can read it, I can share it.

However, the PM system serves a useful purpose - to allow somebody to, in effect, take somebody else to one side and make a comment that is intrinsically marked as "not for public consumption". Now, just as in real life, if I take somebody to one side and say "psst buddy XYZ" there is nothing stopping them from then shouting out "HEY EVERYBODY MY FLY WAS OPEN AND WOWBAGGER TOLD ME SO!"

But then there are a plethora of idiots in the world.

Keep the PM system.


Yeah, what he said.

Re: Keeping the Private Messaging (PM) System

Posted: Mon Apr 25, 2011 12:01 am
by buhler
Can any of the board administrators who had/have access to the SQL database, with a tool such as phpMyAdmin, swear on their lives they've never accessed and read the PM database before?

The concern with the PM system was that there was a "man in the middle" who was reading PMs, without any forwarding going on.

Example: User1 sends User2 a PM. Alexardam decides to snoop User1's PM inbox/outbox by accessing the SQL db via the phpMyAdmin tool, and disclose the contents of the message(s) with unknown third parties or use it for personal gain.

While I agree one should not use this (or any) board to discuss private matters, the fact remains the means, tools and motives for intercepting PMs did exist and it was happening over the years.

Only those close to the previous/current board admins are defending their alleged actions.

Not much has changed around here.

Re: Keeping the Private Messaging (PM) System

Posted: Mon Apr 25, 2011 1:16 am
by techie
+1 for keeping PM's.

Re: Keeping the Private Messaging (PM) System

Posted: Mon Apr 25, 2011 3:39 am
by RADIOMAN2002
I am for keeping the PM as is. If someone thinks that their mail is being read and doesn't like it, use some other form of communication that's COMSEC, and it's on you to provide it. Now as long as you are not doing anything illegal, than I don't see a problem for users.

Re: Keeping the Private Messaging (PM) System

Posted: Mon Apr 25, 2011 5:18 am
by KX5MOT
Keep the PM system.

Re: Keeping the Private Messaging (PM) System

Posted: Mon Apr 25, 2011 8:01 am
by com501
Admins SHOULD have the ability to monitor PMs between users. This is to protect the owners of the domain. If illegal activity is going on, or something that violates the TOS, then it shouldn't be happening on this board, period.

Always assume that ALL PM's on any board are read. To NOT do so, is foolhardy.

AT&T monitors your P2P and email traffic, as does other Internet providers, to make sure you don't violate their TOS. Why would/should this site be any different?

Re: Keeping the Private Messaging (PM) System

Posted: Mon Apr 25, 2011 8:26 am
by escomm
com501 wrote:AT&T monitors your P2P and email traffic, as does other Internet providers, to make sure you don't violate their TOS. Why would/should this site be any different?

AT&T is an ISP. Last time I checked, batlabs was not. I could be mistaken. You are taking this idea a bit far. We don't need the BatBoard Gestapo monitoring our activity. The fact that people were so focused on being Motorola's enforcement department is one of the reasons this site stagnated for so long. Let's not start walking back down that path.

Re: Keeping the Private Messaging (PM) System

Posted: Mon Apr 25, 2011 12:13 pm
by com501
Then change the TOS or the forum rules, but NEVER assume that ANY message on a public forum (or ANY place on the Internet) is private. Period. If the owners and managers of the board want to restrict what goes on, even if it is in PMs, that is their prerogative, and from a liability standpoint, I sure would AND have an LLC to protect myself like Blanton does.

I don't care what is discussed here, the more open the better, but my liability is far different than what the owner/manager of a chat board would be. And I still never assume that anything is private. That is my position. What the policy is, IS. The forum admins can re-write the policy as they please, (whatever it is-frankly, I have never read it) and it is up to THEM to police THEIR site to reflect the policies in place. If something happens outside of those policies that is a violation of trust (which no one has yet said -or proven) then that is a different issue.

KEEP THE PM SYSTEM. Period.

Re: Keeping the Private Messaging (PM) System

Posted: Mon Apr 25, 2011 7:52 pm
by Batwings21
buhler wrote:Not much has changed around here.

Indeed, since you posted a legit comment and are now banned.

While PM's are not expected to be totally private, you should be able to expect that PM's are not going to be purposely read. If someone is PM'ing people asking for software etc, then the person receiving it can forward it to an admin if it bothers them, otherwise who cares.

Re: Keeping the Private Messaging (PM) System

Posted: Mon Apr 25, 2011 8:17 pm
by W2MB
This is 2011. Nothing is private, execpt a mouth to ear whisper. Keep the PM system as it serves a legitimate purpose, and never, never type or send anything that you don't want anyone else to know about.

Re: Keeping the Private Messaging (PM) System

Posted: Tue Apr 26, 2011 1:39 pm
by wavetar
Batwings21 wrote:
buhler wrote:Not much has changed around here.

Indeed, since you posted a legit comment and are now banned.


The comment was legit, and gives the point of view of the people who believe the PM's were read via back end sniffing. Therefore, I approved it and it stayed. However, the 'new member' was in fact a former banned member, therefore the new account was deactivated. Simple concept...if you can't play nice in the sandbox wearing your red coat, you're not welcome back to play in your blue, green, or purple coats either. Same goes for user accounts.

Re: Keeping the Private Messaging (PM) System

Posted: Thu Apr 28, 2011 12:11 pm
by RFguy
I think that it is unreasonable that anyone would think that PM's are totally private. If someone wanted to share, or cut/paste information received in PM there is no way to prevent that (just like if you mailed a person a letter and they copied it and shared it with others).

The name of the service should be Personal Messages.

Re: Keeping the Private Messaging (PM) System

Posted: Fri Apr 29, 2011 2:24 pm
by N4KVE
Keep the PM's. Just a handy way to get in touch with somebody for a quick one on one. GARY N4KVE

Re: Keeping the Private Messaging (PM) System

Posted: Fri Apr 29, 2011 6:39 pm
by Bat Wing
And the results are in... the PM system stays.

Thank you to everyone for your feedback!