Re: Switch/Mail argument

From: George (greerga@DRAGON.HAM.MUOHIO.EDU)
Date: 10/07/97

On Tue, 7 Oct 1997, Andrew Helm wrote:

>> If you have to ability to switch PC bodies, you *should* already have an =
>> access
>> level where it is possible to invade privacy in a number of ways.
>Right. You can snoop them for instance.

snoop sucker
teleport sucker postmaster
force sucker receive
force sucker read x.mail

>The semantics of the issue are of no consequence. Called it an ethical
>problem waiting to happen or a bug, either way it should be fixed.

You can't code morality.

>Fixing it may include logging, but there is no reason why you shouldn't

Switch is already logged although you could simply log everything a
switched person types.

>just take out the ability for a player to access another player's mail
>by switching into them. Why would you want to keep it in?

Because if you can switch, you can get around it, so why bother preventing
someone?  Who cares if someone can't get a pistol to commit a murder when a
nice rifle is available.  The tools of the trade may be different but you
have the same effect.  If someone doesn't have a gun, they use a knife.  If
someone really wants to read your mail, they will.  Consider the position
of employers who claim all mail sent on their servers, think of it the same
say on the MUD.  You own the MUD, they use the MUD, if you want to read it
then you have every right to.  If they don't want it read, use e-mail from
elsewhere as you have to do from your employer.

>If you want implementors to have access to mail then make a command
>for it like there is for snooping. The switch command's side affect

I suppose you could do:
set self idnum xxx
at postmaster receive
set self idnum yyy

but that is very icky.

teleport bob postmaster
switch bob

No problems with corrupted/changed ID numbers.

>of letting you read other people's mail is an anomoly, and it
>only works if the target is link dead.

But you are wrong there, they do not have to be link dead.  I wrote up a
command to load a player into the game without them having to log in.
(One of the few special features of my MUD I haven't patchified.)

>Right, but that requires you have access to the mail files. Not
>all implementors do. I know if I were running a mud I would not
>give other implementors access to the mail, and I would certainly
>not want them to be able to read mine.

You cannot be switched into by anyone lower.

>Need I point out that mail sent over the mud is electronic mail? :)

Owned by you who run the MUD. (See my comment above about employers.)

>If the imps make it known to the users that nothing is personal I
>have no problem with this. You fail to see my point: the head
>implementor's mail can be read. This is not about the players, it's
>about the administration.

You'd have to be an implementor anyway to even switch to the imp.

  else if ((GET_LEVEL(ch) < LVL_IMPL) && !IS_NPC(victim))
    send_to_char("You aren't holy enough to use a mortal's body.\r\n", ch);

>You essentially agree with me that the switch command is not
>the proper way to access another person's mail. It doesn't let

It's very convient.  Load up a pc, switch to them and grab the mail.
They can even be online whilst you do it.

>you look at their mail without preventing it from reaching it's
>destination, it doesn't let you look at their mail when their

Um...if you really want them to get the mail, load up the other person and
cut&paste the mail back to them.

>link-dead character isn't logged on, and it isn't logged. It

Write a function and you can. :)

>was never intended for the purpose you're attributing to it,

It was intended to masquerade as that character in every respect.

>and I don't understand your reluctance to fix it. If you want

You can't code morality.

>a command to read other people's mail then make one, but don't
>depend on some akward bug to do it.

It's not a bug, it's a feature.

George Greer  -   | Genius may have its limitations, but stupidity | is not thus handicapped. -- Elbert Hubbard

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