Mar 10, 2011

An Open Letterto the Phoenix Team

To the viewer team who stated their stance in the RedZone/Spyware matter were NEUTRAL

You seem to miss the point that one cannot be neutral about violation of the TOS. There is only either right or wrong, either respecting the TOS or violating it. To compare it with RL laws: There's only either innocent or criminal.

Either one respects the TOS (in comparison: abides by the law), then RedZone and every other similar tool is absolutely inacceptable -- or you are for RedZone et al, but then you don't mind violating the TOS (in comparison: you don't mind breaking the law).

The TOS clearly states that
8.3 You agree that you will not post or transmit Content or code that may […] invade other users' privacy, or surreptitiously or negatively impact any system or network.

You agree to respect both the integrity of the Service and the privacy of other users. You will not:

(i) Post or transmit viruses, Trojan horses, worms, spyware, […], or other computer programming routines that may harm the Service or interests or rights of other users, or that may harvest or collect any data or personal information about other users without their consent;

The Community Standards also state:
Residents are entitled to a reasonable level of privacy with regard to their Second Life experience. Sharing personal information about your fellow Residents without their consent -- […] beyond what is provided by them in their Resident profile -- is not allowed.

Soft Linden  wrote that
[…] if you see one of his resale vendors, you should Abuse Report
the vendor's owner. File the AR against the object's owner whether the vendor is
owned by the creator, an alt of the creator, or set out by others for
commission. For the AR type, select "Harassment->Soliciting/Inciting others to
Violate ToS." Feel free to add a link to this comment.

It is absolutely clear, there is nothing to be misinterpreted: LL is considering such spy tools as against the TOS. They took a stance, while you back off, because you don't want to be split apart. For an undisrupted work on the viewer and its successor, you are ignoring that there are some violators of the TOS in your team. In this subject, there is only EITHER one side OR the other. Either TOS or RedZone et al.

Hasn't the team of the predecessor of this viewer had enough trouble with people within who didn't mind violating the TOS? Don't anyone of you remember EmeraldGate - which was caused by a few in the team who violated the TOS, plus by the others who remained neutral?
Please don't  make that mistake again and let a "PhoenixGate" be created over it. Being the most-used third-party viewer in SL, the Phoenix can't afford that.
Do make a decision AS A TEAM, even if it means to have to let a few go. Decide AS A TEAM to be either for the ToS or for the spy tools, and do take a stance.

eighthdwarf Checchinato
Phoenix user from the beginning, Firestorm user
- and before the rise of Phoenix: Emerald user


  1. Thank you Gem, I love Phoenix too, but they need to know how thin our allegiance is after Emeraldgate.

    Redzone is clearly a bad actor here. It's not neutral to accept them as just a landowner tool being misused. It's negligent.

  2. Gypsy. I agree with you first of all (and you also Gem)
    That said this is NOT against RZ or GZ or for or whatever. This is as Gem said, either you break the law or you dont.
    Its against the Dataminers currently operating in Second Life and its about making LL enforce and tighten their TOS. Heck it even goes beyond the small virtual worlds of today. RL laws are being made to protect the common user and LL neds to step up and voice what side they are on and so does Phoenix. There is no neutral in this and if you try that road you will loose all integrity you ever had

  3. Oh for the love of God ....

    The Phoenix Team can indeed be neutral when it comes to Red Zone as NO TRULY PERSONAL INFORMATION is being collected, nor are any actual laws (at the least within the country which houses Linden Lab) are being broken.

    Your IP Address? Public information and easily obtainable. Avatar Name/Key? Public information and easily obtainable.

    Some of their DETECTION METHODS may be against the ToS or Illegal but the concept itself is not.

    No real data is being mined, none of your actual personal information is being released.

    Expecting your IP Address and/or Avatar Key to remain hidden or unavailable to the public is an unreasonable expectation of privacy.

    Further, the section of the ToS that you quote is one which applies to programs and functions which install or run directly on your PC and which would access data stored there.

    It's a common clause in EULAs and ToS agreements across the internet and the world.

    Now quit acting like some spolied child and start acting like a reasonable, responsible adult.

    Until Linden Lab directly states, in an official announcement, that Red Zone is against the ToS, your only choices involve the Media Filter, shutting down all Media funtions, looking up technical methods of blocking the domains .... or simply not logging into Second Life (or the internet in general) at all.

    Don't like it? Tough titty.

  4. @Atra: »Your IP Address? Public information and easily obtainable.« Not with legal tools within Second Life. And not without using that Media exploit.
    »Avatar Name/Key? Public information and easily obtainable.« "Public", as in: "public for everyone within SL", yes.

    »Some of their DETECTION METHODS may be against the ToS or Illegal...« Some? The entire detection method is violating the TOS.
    »...but the concept itself is not.« So tell me, where the heck do the TOS or the Community Standards or the Privacy Policy state that every SL user has the RIGHT to know whether or not any Jane/John-Doe Resident has alt accounts, or how many, or who these alt accounts are and what they do or which viewer they log in with? There is no single sentence where you can read that. You have no right to know about their alts - it's only LL and the respective Jane/John-Doe Resident who need to know, not anyone else. And land protection? Oh please. The tools given by LL are really enough. Neither my Mistress (who I've mentioned often in this my blog, and who owns a few sims), nor I (who owns only a 1300prim parcel on another sim) have ever needed anything else than what is given in the land tools and/or in the viewer. Though I admit it is fun to play with an "offender" using the U-Bar before ejecting them, but I have never even used that in a "griefer" case, but tried it on people who volunteered.

    »No real data is being mined, none of your actual personal information is being released.« In my case, that's true: I'm using dynamic IP, so it changes at least once every 24h. And I use proxies. And since I've never openly used my real name on any internet platform (unless I had to send it for mail-order or age verification reasons), you won't find real data about me anyways except what I disclose myself.
    And THAT is what's all about: No-one has any right to know anything about me except I disclose it to them myself, on my own decision.

    »Expecting your IP Address and/or Avatar Key to remain hidden or unavailable to the public is an unreasonable expectation of privacy.« It's not unreasonable.
    Of course, if I logged on YOUR OWN Grid, you had every right to know my IP address - but since I think I've never have done so, you have no right to try to get it. It's like my phone number (which is in no public phone book): unless I give it to you - even by sending it by calling you -, you as normal phone user have no legal right to even try to find it out.

  5. Actually, any media server you log into will have your IP. They have to to send you music/video. Many log to the extent of keeping track of how many unique listeners/watchers they had. That's also not against any rules. I don't know any of them that try to link your in world name since they really don't need that.

    Redzone uses that for it's own purposes which I find a little underhanded even if they aren't giving out alt info anymore. If I turn on media streaming, I have a reasonable expectation that it's going to be used to send me media, not log me into somebody's database as part of a land security tool of dubious value.