Re: Switch/Mail argument from "George" at Oct 7, 97 02:27:20 pm

From: Andrew Helm (ashe@IGLOU.COM)
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.
> invis
> snoop sucker
> teleport sucker postmaster
> force sucker receive
> force sucker read x.mail

Okay, what does this have to do with there being a bug in the
switch command that needs fixed? It's a completely different
issue. With the switch command bug the player who's mail is
intercepted won't have a clue when it happened, who did it,
or even that their mail was read. Also, you can't forge mail
using force.

> >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.

Correct. What does this have to do with fixing a bug?

> >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.

Why are you being so difficult? Switch obviously wasn't meant to be
used the way you're suggesting. If you want a "mail snooping" command
then there are much better ways to do it. In fact, I wouldn't even
call switch a viable mail snooping command since it depends on the
target being link-dead.

> >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.

The above makes no sense in the current context of the discussion.
Please stay on topic.

> If
> someone really wants to read your mail, they will.

Nope, they won't because I won't leave the buggy switch code in. :)

> 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 I were claiming you shouldn't be reading other people's mail then
this might just be on topic. However, I have only said that the
unsupervised, unlogged, and uncontrolled ability to read mail
due to a bug in switch is an ethical hazard and quite frankly it
is only an unintended side-affect (ie- a bug), not a built in,
documented feature. (They say you have to document the bugs
before you can call them a feature ;-)

> >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.

set idnum isn't a stock feature for obvious reasons. (Like
the example you just gave. :)

> >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.)

Don't be so difficult. You know very well in a normal stock mud
that no such thing is built in. If you want mail snooping ability
in stock code then you should add in the ability to read other
people's mail without depending on them going link-dead. If you
don't want mail snooping ability then switch needs to be changed.
Accept it.

> >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.

I never claimed you could.

> >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're right again. You're point? (Some muds decide to have multiple
implementors, George.)

> >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.

Load up a pc? How do you do that in stock circle? Unless you change
things it's rather inconvenient. Why do you persist in defending a
bug? Why do you believe just because you don't have a problem with
it that others won't?

> >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.

You're assuming you can load up the other person again, George. Remember,
I'm talking about the bug being abused, not valid situations in which
the mud administration wants to read other people's mail.

> >link-dead character isn't logged on, and it isn't logged. It
> Write a function and you can. :)

That's might point. The normal behavior of switch in regard to the
mail systemneeds changed.

> >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.

I never claimed you could.

> >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.

*yawn* tell me when you're done playing with semantics.

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