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Private posts

Ok, we’ve got something new for you guys — "private" posts. There’s been a lot of demand for this, and we’ve developed a system that should address some of your needs — at least I’m hoping so. Here’s how it works. Do read this carefully, because not understanding exactly how Lightstalkers manages and defines "privacy" could have nasty consequences.

How does it work?
It’s not too complicated. From now on, when you’re starting a new topic, you’ll see a "privacy" option on the right side of the page. By default, all new posts are public. Now, if you un-check the "everyone" box, a list of your contacts will appear. Check a name, and that person will be granted permission to read the post. No one else will see the post — they won’t even know it’s here.

Managing privacy
Only you, the original poster, can change privacy settings. After your post is saved, you can go back and add additional permissions; you can also revoke permission if you want. No one else can do this. Remember, if you having a private conversation, consult everyone involved before bringing in new people. It’s their privacy, too.

How private is it?
This is a really important question. Because "privacy" is complex, here’s a short answer and a long answer. Read them both.

Short answer:
Reasonably private; about as private as normal, unencrypted email. Each person involved has to log in to Lightstalkers with their password, and our database is itself housed in a secure data warehouse.

Long answer:
It’s not Fort Knox. Lightstalkers doesn’t use SSL, or otherwise encrypt data as it’s transmitted. That means it’s possible to "sniff" the site’s traffic, and extract data from it, bypassing any authentication. This should be of particular concern to users of WiFi, and especially in public places, like Internet cafes. Further, this system is only as strong as its weakest link. People sometimes use easy-to-guess passwords, generic passwords, or (gasp) share their passwords. It’s also perfectly possible for a trusted party to print out the conversation and leave it on a park bench.

Our advice is this. This system is private enough that you can have sensitive conversations - the kind you might have in a coffeeshop, or in line at the ATM. This system is not private enough for you to be sharing credit card numbers, missile launch codes, or racy pics of your ex.

Post your questions or concerns, and let me know if there’s anything else I can clarify.

by Shinji Kuwayama at 2005-06-03 08:43:01 UTC (ed. Mar 12 2008 ) Chicago , United States | Bookmark | | Report spam→

I’ve said it before (privately :-)) and I’ll say it again: YOU GUYS ROCK!!
Thank you for making this brilliant joint happen and insuring every possible level of communication here.
SO appreciated!

by Imke Lass | 03 Jun 2005 10:06 | Savannah, United States | | Report spam→
Racy pics of my ex…

Fuji held on to them, handed them over to the police… I only just finished the community punishment order, and am still reeling from the hefty financial loss I suffered in “damages”.

Thanks for resurrecting such painful memories!


by [former member] | 03 Jun 2005 15:06 (ed. Jun 3 2005) | Wraysbury, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
No racy pics of ex?

What’s the point? ;)

by Rob Wood | 07 Jun 2005 03:06 | Sydney, Australia | | Report spam→
Stay tuned for our upcoming project, stalkerstalkers.com…

by Shinji Kuwayama | 07 Jun 2005 06:06 | Chicago, United States | | Report spam→

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Shinji Kuwayama, Software Engineer Shinji Kuwayama
Software Engineer
Chicago , United States ( ORD )
Imke Lass, Photographer Imke Lass
Hamburg , Germany
Rob Wood, Monkey Trainer Rob Wood
Monkey Trainer
Sydney , Australia


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