Spy bot (Community)

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silenced

Feb 25, 2002, 6:21pm
Listen, the way the bot got that information was wrong. A bot and a browser
are two entirely different entities. If the user wanted them to enter and
index, they would've, but they did this in secret, do you think they were
going to tell us until 3.3 came out? "Oh yeah, we did that when you weren't
looking." I've had enough secret's going on behind my back from a
respectable company/

-Silenced

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carolann

Feb 25, 2002, 6:29pm
It's solely their book when THEY pay ME to write for them...but that's
beside the point. I will preface by saying.I am no longer wondering what the
bot is and for the most part.don't care now. But if this thread in my
newsreader can be lengthened by a couple inches by those saying "stop
posting, WE don't want to hear it, if you don't agree with me your thoughts
are stupid" then I feel comfortable adding a question from the middle. AW
certainly isn't my life, it's my hobby like playing the piano would be if I
was so gifted but if I have invested $4-$500.00 a year in it, as I have, not
counting original licenses, I think I can consider myself as having invested
in it. I have no stock but it is an open-ended product and my future use of
it depends on their good decisions. In other words, it's not like a piano
that I have full care of-this product can be changed from their end. My main
question.in these days of the crooked E (I hope my reference is understood)
are you saying investors should not even question but follow blindly along?
Don't look, don't ask? Maybe the questions should stop by now-it sure isn't
any more for me, the just plain user, to say anymore than it is for you, the
condescending veteran, but don't you think it will stop when people have
finished stating their feelings? (what? There's no interest?) Obviously, for
some the issue is not resolved just because a few happen to claim to know
everything. If this is AW's newsgroup.. as you tell us the subject matter is
THEIR product, shouldn't they be the one's to decide to stop it? For that
matter, shouldn't they be the ones to explain to each paying user's
satisfaction, not allow rumors and know-it-alls to do the job for them? It's
only taking up space, not the air you breathe. And it certainly isn't
getting any information out of your computer.
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dion

Feb 25, 2002, 6:31pm
LOL, maybe they wanted to surprise us a bit with the new features, that is
why they haven't told us them all iether. Maybe there will be a feature that
allows you to not be indexed. Infact, you can delete those entries in your
world features and you won't be indexed, although the bot will check your
world features periodically.

When the world server starts, the information showing that the world is up
and if it's public or private and how many users it has is transmitted to
the universe server so that they may index all worlds in the world list. Are
you going to complain about this too?

If there was no TOS, then there is nothing that says they cannot do this and
nothing saying that they can. Therefore they can do whatever is within the
law.

I suppose you could consider that little "feature" a backdoor, but it is in
no way harming you or your world and does not retrieve any information
unnecessary for it's uses therefore is perfectly legal.

Microsoft recently upgraded Windows media player. A special thing on the
media player sent information of what music you were playing to the
microsoft website. They did not tell anyone of this "feature" and it was not
apparent that it was sending the information. After someone found out about
this, they made a pettition and Microsoft added a thing in the help
documentation showing how to remove this if you would like to, although it
is still default.

You don't know what will come of 3.3, maybe they will give you the option of
disallowing it, but even when they don't, it's legal. If you download a
program and run it on your machine, it's up to you to decide if it's safe.
Now that you do know of this, will you be closing your worlds? Probably not.

Sure, I suppose the principle is in question, but there certainly is no
logical reason to be angry of this as it causes no harm.
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silenced

Feb 25, 2002, 6:44pm
> LOL, maybe they wanted to surprise us a bit with the new features, that is
> why they haven't told us them all iether. Maybe there will be a feature
that
> allows you to not be indexed. Infact, you can delete those entries in your
> world features and you won't be indexed, although the bot will check your
> world features periodically.

Maybe, but I'd rather know what they're doing with my information before
hand.

> When the world server starts, the information showing that the world is up
> and if it's public or private and how many users it has is transmitted to
> the universe server so that they may index all worlds in the world list.
Are
> you going to complain about this too?

Are you really this clueless? The whole point of what I'm arguing is that
they're doing it without my knowledge and using the backdoor that's been
programmed into their software to get that information. World servers
transmitting data to be listed is an entirely different thing. I know about
them doing it, and I'm allowing them to do it.

> If there was no TOS, then there is nothing that says they cannot do this
and
> nothing saying that they can. Therefore they can do whatever is within the
> law.

And it's illegal to gain information through use of a backdoor, unknown or
known.

> I suppose you could consider that little "feature" a backdoor, but it is
in
> no way harming you or your world and does not retrieve any information
> unnecessary for it's uses therefore is perfectly legal.

And it is. It's invading my privacy as a world owner. So if I sent a virus
and you run it and it's transmitting data back, but it's proforming within
it's uses, it's perfectly legal? Although viruses are not the same, what
the awld priv can do, can be considered a virus like entity.

> Microsoft recently upgraded Windows media player. A special thing on the
> media player sent information of what music you were playing to the
> microsoft website. They did not tell anyone of this "feature" and it was
not
> apparent that it was sending the information. After someone found out
about
> this, they made a pettition and Microsoft added a thing in the help
> documentation showing how to remove this if you would like to, although it
> is still default.

Are we talking about Microsoft? No, we're talking about Activeworlds. It
only sends what DVD encoded material you play. I would like to be able to
disable AWLD priv's in my world.. I don't see the option.

> You don't know what will come of 3.3, maybe they will give you the option
of
> disallowing it, but even when they don't, it's legal. If you download a
> program and run it on your machine, it's up to you to decide if it's safe.
> Now that you do know of this, will you be closing your worlds? Probably
not.

No it's not legal, as I stated above and in previos posts. Only one of my
worlds was open to the public.

> Sure, I suppose the principle is in question, but there certainly is no
> logical reason to be angry of this as it causes no harm.

It takes information without my knowing. They should ask before they do
things like this.. I don't care if it's a new "feature," honestly, I don't
like a search feature.. I like to go world hopping and find awesome looking
things.

-Silenced

dion

Feb 25, 2002, 7:57pm
You cannot disable AWLD! Ok, here's the heap of facts.

Right now, you understand how ActiveWorlds works. AWLD is caretaker of the
universe and may enter your world whenever it likes, regardless of your
privelages that you set. A bot uses this privelage password to get into
worlds so that it may index them into a listing. This same information could
be gotten in another way. The world server could send this information to
the universe server when it is started without using a bot. But then it
would only update everytime the world was restarted. That would be very
inconvenient for lots of people, especially for worlds that are always
populated. So, they have decided to use a bot to do this. You are unsure of
the options that will come with this bot yet you are already arguing against
it. You first said that you were only debating the principle, now you say
you are debating your privacy.

If you know of this 'backdoor' and know how to stop it from allowing this
'privacy invasion' than AWCom certainly cannot be held accountable for using
the 'backdoor' you have left for them.

You say that information will be sent without your knowledge, yet you are
telling me that there is a "backdoor" and it will be used for certain
things. Surely, then, it is with your knowledge. So you don't mind if your
world is listed in the world index that is available right now... does that
mean other people don't mind? If someone was against their world being
indexed as they are now, would you support them because it invades your
privacy? It is a "backdoor" in your definition. It sends your information to
the universe server.

How you like to go through worlds is not in question. You can still "world
hop", but soon you may search for worlds as well. That option may be more
popular with other people than you, but what you want as an individual is of
no importance to AWCom.

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silenced

Feb 25, 2002, 8:22pm
> You cannot disable AWLD! Ok, here's the heap of facts.

I never said you could, you implied this was the same thing as microsofts
little deal.. and they could disable it. So I was being a wee bit sarcastic
in saying I'd like to be able to, but there's no option.. this implying it's
not the same thing.

> Right now, you understand how ActiveWorlds works. AWLD is caretaker of the
> universe and may enter your world whenever it likes, regardless of your
> privelages that you set. A bot uses this privelage password to get into
> worlds so that it may index them into a listing. This same information
could
> be gotten in another way. The world server could send this information to
> the universe server when it is started without using a bot. But then it
> would only update everytime the world was restarted. That would be very
> inconvenient for lots of people, especially for worlds that are always
> populated. So, they have decided to use a bot to do this. You are unsure
of
> the options that will come with this bot yet you are already arguing
against
> it. You first said that you were only debating the principle, now you say
> you are debating your privacy.

Yes, it could be gotten any other way, but the fact they used the bot when
bots weren't allowed is one thing, and they did it without our permission is
another, and they did it without telling anyone is yet another. They didn't
have to use a bot, I'm arguing on what I was told, which wasn't very much..
perhaps if the divulge more information I can make a more educated guess,
but I'm still against a bot indexing worlds without owner consent. I never
said I was only debating the principle, but the principle is that it
violated our privacy and we weren't given the option to not have our worlds
indexed if we so choosed.

> If you know of this 'backdoor' and know how to stop it from allowing this
> 'privacy invasion' than AWCom certainly cannot be held accountable for
using
> the 'backdoor' you have left for them.

There's no way to stop it without knowing the IP of the user that's using
it. This is why they can be held responsible for their actions.

> You say that information will be sent without your knowledge, yet you are
> telling me that there is a "backdoor" and it will be used for certain
> things. Surely, then, it is with your knowledge. So you don't mind if your
> world is listed in the world index that is available right now... does
that
> mean other people don't mind? If someone was against their world being
> indexed as they are now, would you support them because it invades your
> privacy? It is a "backdoor" in your definition. It sends your information
to
> the universe server.

Very very good, the information was indexed without my knowledge or anyone
elses until we were told. That would mean if we didn't post this and
MrGrimm didn't post it was his, that we would never have known. Other
people do mind, duh. That's why everyone is fussing.. just because you
don't care doesn't mean others don't. How does someone else's world being
index violate my privacy? It's only a backdoor if someone else can use it
to access things they shouldn't normally be allowed, but sending information
to the uniserver such as world size and user limit, is part of the function
of the world server. But even that information isn't sent to the uniserver.
The only thing sent to the uniserver is that the world is up, and if it's
open to the public or not. As far as I know.. I've seen hacked worldservers
where they have unlimited users and size.. that would mean that information
is not sent to the uniserver.

> How you like to go through worlds is not in question. You can still "world
> hop", but soon you may search for worlds as well. That option may be more
> popular with other people than you, but what you want as an individual is
of
> no importance to AWCom.

And your opinion is of no importance either. Neither is mine, why do you
need to argue you're right and I'm wrong then? Clearly when you use
something you shouldn't use to get information that's not yours, it's
something that's illegal. Especially without owner's permission before
hand. That's the key point.. the owners did not give permission, had they
have posted this there would've been little or no problem. If you honestly
don't care, stop posting, because the rest of us do care that our privacy
was violated in some way shape or form. If it's my privacy and not yours,
you have no reason to say that I'm the wrong one. Or that AW has every
right to violate my privacy. If you want them to violate yours, go ahead, I
don't care, I don't need you to tell me my privacy isn't important.

-Silenced

sw chris

Feb 25, 2002, 9:48pm
You know... it's debates like these that makes me wonder what would happen
if one side actually won. You people are debating trivialities now, as it's
already been established seven or eight threads up that you're mad that AWC
did not inform you that they were compiling a search database for 3.3.
Nobody besides you two care, so please, let the thread die. :) Everyone's
entitled to their opinion, but trying to change someone else's isn't going
to change a thing.

SW Chris

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dion

Feb 25, 2002, 9:52pm
LOL, hey! I can scream as much as I like! :-P It's just a debate. ;-)
Besides, im done already, heh.
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sw chris

Feb 25, 2002, 9:55pm
Whether or not AWLD - Citizen #1 has all privelages in all worlds is not at
issue here. It is common knowledge that this account does have all privs in
all worlds and for very good reasons. Ananas is correct in his first
assessment that they perhaps should have notified the world owners before
they did this, as it represents a potential security breach that any
resourceful programmer with AWLD privelages could take advantage of. This
would have kept this thread to perhaps five or six entries long, instead of
five or six hundred.

SW Chris

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macb z@x.y

Feb 26, 2002, 12:21am
[View Quote] > AWLD 1 has always been there and you know it. ALWAYS if you were not aware of it then that's where the problem lies.
> AWLD 1 is needed and quite acceptable.....they can come to my world anytime and inspect it. not a problem. if you have a problem
> with it then you need to find another playground they own this one...:)
>
> Leo :)
>


I only know about it by word of mouth. I have never seen a web page,
help page, or any other hardcopy documentation on it. My first
recollection of it was when its use screwed something up in a world I
helped run. My second knowledge of it was an AW employee playing
around where they had no business. My third knowledge of it was in
these newsgroups where it had been used to screw with someone in another
universe.

Please give me some real examples of why it is "needed", I have yet to
hear one example that was not relatively frivolous (like this index thing).

I have been involved in situations where people asked AWLD for help, in
tracking down stolen objects, among other things. Always the answer
from AWLD has been NO, we don't get involved in such things. Now THAT
might have been a valid use for something like AWLD1 or whatever its
called. But as far as my knowledge goes, it gets used to settle
personal grudges that people with the password have against users who
don't. In fact this index thing is the ONLY time I have heard of it
being used for (in theory) some sort of community purpose. I await
enlightenment.

And please post the URL for the documentation.

Funny how many people claim it is known and documented but not one can
point to the document.

As for finding another playground... I have. But I'm going to play in
this one for a while longer too. Just for grins. What bothers people
so much about this?

foxmccloud

Feb 26, 2002, 2:33am
While I agree that principles have an importance, at some point you have to trust people. If you're that suspicious about AW, don't run their browser. It could very well contain a trojan that allows AW's programmer to access all the files on your computer anytime he wants. Nobody would know if he's never used it yet. Same goes for any non-opensource program. You have to trust people sometimes. That or use Linux.

Fox Mc Cloud

"aine" <Aine at DeDanaan.com> a écrit dans le message news: 3c77e36e at server1.Activeworlds.com...
A bot like that can not only grab the world title, welcome message, and keywords, it can also grab the builder's list and then it's database can be used to identify which world cit#123456 has builder's rights in, and once it knows that, it can be programmed to systematically go from one world to the next destroying cit#123456's builds while leaving the rest of those worlds intact.

That's just one example of what could be done with the information contained in the World Rights box.

Aine

ananas

Feb 26, 2002, 2:47am
You can find it in the SDK doumentation in several places.


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sw chris

Feb 26, 2002, 4:10am
It kind of begs the question, why do network administrators have access to
everything on the servers they manage, even private accounts? The same
principle is applied here, and perhaps for the same reasons.

SW Chris

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kah

Feb 26, 2002, 3:34pm
what is wrong with you people? lol why can't you get this into your heads:
they DO own the SOFTWARE, but they have NO ownership over what the users
have CREATED with it (ie, world content, and I mean all content, including
the greeting). Then one day they decided that it would be a good idea making
a search engine for worlds, I think so too. But then they made the fatal
error of building an index with a bot that without prior permissions comes
in and grabs content before it gets the heck out of there as quick as it can
not to get busted. That's breaking the law, they stole the property of their
users. The license doesn't say no nothing about them owning what it's users
created! I think YOU are the one that needs to be enlightened and not
certainly not the other way round!

KAH

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kah

Feb 26, 2002, 3:34pm
Finally gotten that they were wrong??? You're just as bad as folks that
think MS invented computers!

KAH

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ananas

Feb 26, 2002, 7:13pm
You're absolutely right. I never stated that the universe admin
should not exist, this case was just not a good one to use it.

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zeo toxion

Feb 26, 2002, 7:25pm
let's see...Any bot can record the welcome messages if it wants to in any
public world. And the only reason "it gets the heck out of there as quick as
it can not to get busted" is becuase it's not goign to sit there and have a
coversation in every 1000+ worlds it stops at. They made it log-in invisible
(which any bot can do) so that it wouldnt bother anyone or see the chat.
They aren't sneaking around that's just the way bots work.

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silenced

Feb 26, 2002, 7:33pm
It can if it has bot rights to enter, but that's the point, this bot didn't
have the right to enter given to it by the >>>owner<<<. Like I said, it
probably wouldn't have mattered if they said they were going to do it, but
they did it in secret.

-Silenced

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zeo toxion

Feb 26, 2002, 8:00pm
if i was the one doing it i wouldnt think poeple would overreact to it so
much and i probably wouldnt have bothered saying anything becuase it usually
wouldnt matter but people in the ngs complain about everything so whatever

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strike rapier

Mar 3, 2002, 2:00am
It is not right that AWC should be able to index worlds without prior
permission from world owners. Correct, content is your legal property such
as objects etc.

- SR
*Always hating stealth bots that my bots cant detected*

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macb z@x.y

Mar 3, 2002, 3:09am
Oh good. Now that the port scanning duel is over we can get back to a
more relevant never-ending argument.

Count me in !

[View Quote] > It is not right that AWC should be able to index worlds without prior
> permission from world owners. Correct, content is your legal property such
> as objects etc.
>
> - SR

sunofsolaris

Mar 3, 2002, 10:31am
Is that all this pathetic little man ever does in reponses ?

Tell people to grow up ?

I've been reading this group for the last few weeks and it would appear to
me there is only one who needs to do some growing up.

thank you

Dreamy


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