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Questionable Data Mining Concerns IRC Community 306

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the that-eliza-can't-keep-her-mouth-shut dept.
jessekeys writes "Two days ago an article on TechCrunch about IRSeeK revealed to the community that a service logs conversations of public IRC channels and put them into a public searchable database. What is especially shocking for the community is that the logging bots are very hard to identify. They have human-like nicks, connect via anonymous Tor nodes and authenticate as mIRC clients. IRSeeK never asked for permission and violates the privacy terms of networks and users. A lot of chatters were deeply disturbed finding themselves on the search engine in logs which could date back to 2005. As a result, Freenode, the largest FOSS IRC network in existence, immediately banned all tor connections while the community gathered and set up a public wiki page to share knowledge and news about IRSeeK. The demands are clear: remove all existing logs and stop covert operations in our channels and networks. Right now, the IRSeeK search is unavailable as there are talks talking place with Freenode Staff."
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Questionable Data Mining Concerns IRC Community

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  • IRC is still alive? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by nurb432 (527695)
    IRC is pretty much a shadow of its-self from the good old days of perhaps 10 years ago. Does anyone really even bother with it now? Between the scams/spam/abuse, why bother?

    And no, I'm not trolling, i was there in the beginning, but watched it degenerate into a virtual cesspool years ago, and got out before it hit rock bottom. Has it improved?
    • by epiphani (254981) <epiphani.dal@net> on Sunday December 02, 2007 @12:40PM (#21552567)
      IRC has always been about social groups. If you have one (or more), then its still good.

      I think DALnet has done quite well handling abuse. We've switched our infrastructure over to an anycast model that seems to have made us fairly resilient to DOS attacks, and we have made major progress in dealing with drones and abusing bots.
      • by kestasjk (933987) on Sunday December 02, 2007 @01:51PM (#21553165) Homepage
        Freenode is also a good place to get help with various problems, and you do get a sense of community in most channels.

        Back on topic; I already knew about this, and don't see what the big deal is. I often run into chat logs while googling, sometimes they have useful info. Does anyone really consider a public IRC channel to be a private place?
        A lot of the things I've said on /. since 2005 I would probably cringe if I reread it, but if you don't want it to be public don't say it in public.
        • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 02, 2007 @04:30PM (#21554467)
          if you don't want it to be public don't say it in public.

          This attitude is widespread, but very problematic, because it is a departure from long standing social norms and communication modes: A free society has a need for public communication which isn't set in stone. If your only options are to keep something private or have it recorded for all eternity that you said it (and when, where, to whom), many important things will not be spoken publicly. It's not so much a problem of privacy or no privacy: A public channel is not private. It's a matter of forgetting the mundane, so that people need not worry about having their every public move inspected and reevaluated later on. The grace of oblivion is not implemented in our information systems. This lack robs us of our chance to change or start anew, and that stifles public discourse. Again, it's not so much the expectation of privacy which is violated by these archives, it's the perceived transient nature of IRC (and Usenet before DejaNews.)
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            It's a matter of forgetting the mundane, so that people need not worry about having their every public move inspected and reevaluated later on.

            This is just one more part of a larger gradual buildup of online personas and histories. Ten years ago, few would've had Myspace or Facebook profiles for their employers to find; conversation logs, I think, are just more of the same. They really aren't that different from Wiki edits or Slashdot posts.

            Instead of forgetting the mundane, what if it were kept forever available... and forever mundane? So Username1 said something stupid on IRC ten years ago, and Username2 made a mistake on a Wiki edit five ye

      • by TubeSteak (669689)

        I think DALnet has done quite well handling abuse. We've switched our infrastructure over to an anycast model that seems to have made us fairly resilient to DOS attacks, and we have made major progress in dealing with drones and abusing bots.
        I imagine it helps that you guys kicked all the xdcc channels out a few years ago.
    • by vertinox (846076)
      Has it improved?

      I hardly use it that much, but when I do I don't use non-effnet servers but the smaller private networks that require authentification.
    • by Minupla (62455) <minupla@NOspAM.gmail.com> on Sunday December 02, 2007 @01:04PM (#21552761) Homepage Journal
      Strangely enough I made the same decision in about 93, so I'd say 15 years ago is when it went downhill (I remember +channels, before #channels!). I'm not sure if there's not a formula related to number of years out of college you are as to when 'IRC went downhill' :)

      Min
    • by Ash-Fox (726320) on Sunday December 02, 2007 @01:05PM (#21552765)

      Does anyone really even bother with it now?
      I use IRC daily and the amount of conversations and users have increased in my time of using IRC. And I've used IRC back when you had to dial into a BBS to use it, back when ANSI color codes were the norm (I was pretty young then, and couldn't type very coherent sentences).

      And no, I'm not trolling, i was there in the beginning, but watched it degenerate into a virtual cesspool years ago, and got out before it hit rock bottom. Has it improved?
      That really depends on IRC network and their channels. The places I goto haven't degenerated.
    • by rhizome (115711)
      IRC is pretty much a shadow of its-self from the good old days of perhaps 10 years ago. Does anyone really even bother with it now?

      Some people say that all history is a shadow, so in a way aren't you saying that anything that existed in the past can be compared negatively to its "good old days?" I think in a different social circle this might be called "old-timer's disease." IRC is just as good as it's ever been in my 15 years of using it, but I don't use it for social purposes so my experience may be diffe
    • There are two types of communication on the Internet. One is broadcast communication. In it, a user sends a message to a medium, and the general public can access the medium. Examples include the SlashDot forum and a channel on IRC. A user of such media should assume that whatever she writes is readily available to the FBI, NSA, etc.

      The second type of communication is peer-to-peer. A user sends a message to a specific user. Examples include e-mail, phone communication, and the like.

      Anyone can ensu

    • by Carewolf (581105)
      Yes, IRC is very much alive, both for Open Source collaboration, but also for (actually usefull) conference calls.
    • by Kjella (173770)
      IRC is as good as it ever was, in other words not that great anymore. The people might still be there, but basicly:

      1. Netsplits - my primary hate object. Since IRC is adfree and without a corporate backer, the service levels are often poor to terrible.
      2. No offline messages. Since there's no single backer, you can't send a message to someone that they'll get when they return.
      3. Same goes for when you lose a conversation due to netsplits (you can DCC chat though, if you remember to use it).
      4. No support for
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by mph (7675)

        But it was designed in the 1970s and the world has moved forward a bit, and with IRC being design by commitee, IRC just hasn't kept up.

        I think by "1970s" you mean 1988 [wikipedia.org], and by "commitee" you mean "a guy".

        Anyway, didn't anyone learn from DejaNews? The response to this IRC transcript thing sounds exactly the same as when people on Usenet suddenly discovered that the stuff they wrote on their "ephemeral" public medium was being archived.

      • by Shakrai (717556) * on Sunday December 02, 2007 @03:37PM (#21554035) Journal

        WTF? Do you even know what the point of IRC is?

        Netsplits - my primary hate object. Since IRC is adfree and without a corporate backer, the service levels are often poor to terrible.

        Anybody who has used IRC for awhile knows how to handle netsplits. They are a fact of life with the way the protocol works. And what do you mean "IRC is adfree without a corporate backer?" There is nothing called "IRC", there are individual IRC networks, most of which are volunteer efforts. Nothing is stopping you from finding or starting a network with corporate backing if you think it will be more reliable. Personally I think the fact that it's all volunteer run is a plus and not a negative.

        No offline messages. Since there's no single backer, you can't send a message to someone that they'll get when they return.

        Some networks have services that will do this. On others you can use a private bot to do it. You think it should be done at the protocol level instead?

        No support for smileys/other short animations. No, it's not just teen girls using those

        That's a client-level function. WTF are you bitching about? I'm sure there's a script out there for mIRC that would give you smilies and animations if you really want them. IRC is just a protocol for communication between servers and clients. It's up to the client to format and display the data. AIM is no different in this regard -- your wink is still sent as ';)' -- the client just puts a pretty graphic on it.

        No support for mic, webcams etc

        You could do webcams with sound with a decent script in most clients. But if that's what you want then IRC probably isn't for you.

        DCC sucks terribly particularly with firewalls and NAT

        Yeah and sending files on IM also sucks with firewalls and NAT, unless you have opened up ports or your client and router support upnp. Again, what's your point? How is this something lacking with IRC?

        You can register for a nick on most networks, but that doesn't stop someone else from taking it so messages go to the wrong people

        If those people are basing your identity solely off your nick then they don't understand IRC very well. And as you say, some networks have nick registration if this bothers you. Some will even auto-kill people using your nick.

        Doing some of the more advanced features like sharing a folder with someone (fserve) is a lot harder than in modern chat programs

        So write a better client if this bothers you that much. Or even a script for an existing client. There's very little you can't do with the scripting language in a modern client like ircII epic.

        he hacks to allow other clients to access those networks aren't exactly helping the uptake of an open standards backend either

        IRC is one the most open protocols there is. All of the various ircds are well documented and most are open-source (if not GNU) projects. The underlying IRC protocol itself is simple enough that anybody with Wireshark and half a brain could reverse engineer it if they wanted to do so. Hell, I largely taught myself scripting/coding and protocol analysis by playing around with IRC and tcpdump back in the day.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by cerberusss (660701)
          Say what you want, but the masses aren't running to IRC anymore. It's Jabber, MSN, Yahoo chat etc that are being used. Now you can answer GP with smart questions like 'it's solved at the client level' and while you are right, the point is that there is a lot more development effort aimed at the IM market.
    • by Alioth (221270) <no@spam> on Sunday December 02, 2007 @02:15PM (#21553379) Journal
      I don't agree. IRC isn't some homogenous thing that can go downhill - there are thousands of networks and maybe millions of channels - so while a particular network may have gone 'downhill', others may well have improved.

      I've been using irc since about 1991. Our channel doesn't suffer from spam, bots or abuse.
    • Long live IRC (Score:3, Informative)

      by br00tus (528477)
      IRC was and is a great thing. I was on IRC back when channels had plus signs instead of pound signs. I frequented a channel on EFNet of a particular clique I was in, or really a sub-culture. Many of the people from my local area I had known even before joining the channel, but I got to talk to people in that scene from around the country. When they came out here we would show them around, and when I traveled around I was often greeted warmly in a foreign city by the local group, whom I may have never ha
  • by evolvearth (1187169) on Sunday December 02, 2007 @12:37PM (#21552527)
    Our nicks on IRC provide a level of anonymity, and we know that actual people do keep logs of us. Many of our quotes even end up on http://www.bash.org./ [www.bash.org] I go onto IRC knowing that my conversation is not necessarily private, and if I ever wanted to discuss private details of myself to someone on IRC, I could simple private message him. I could even set up a private room if I have to discuss private matters to a group of people. I don't know why I'd discuss private issues with those on IRC, but some people may for whatever reasons. It's silly to expect privacy on IRC. Never say anything in public that you don't want to come back at you. If anything, just set up a passworded channel if you're planning a violent revolution.
    • I did not authorize anyone to redistribute my copyrighted material. All are in violation of law.
      • I did not authorize anyone to redistribute my copyrighted material. All are in violation of law.


        If your IRC text is copyrighted, then does quoting your comment in mine also count as a copyright violation?
    • by epiphani (254981) <epiphani.dal@net> on Sunday December 02, 2007 @12:53PM (#21552687)
      A level of anonymity is one thing, but given that my nickname is also linked to my real name, I'd prefer that my prospective employers can't pull up something I said in a moment of stupidity five years ago.

      Many of us out there started our technical exploration on IRC. Some people get into computers and then find IRC. Some are the opposite - find IRC and then get into computers. I can credit IRC and the people on there with my entire career choice.
      • A level of anonymity is one thing, but given that my nickname is also linked to my real name, I'd prefer that my prospective employers can't pull up something I said in a moment of stupidity five years ago.

        Five years from now you will regret that post, Mr. E. Pip Hani.

      • A level of anonymity is one thing, but given that my nickname is also linked to my real name, I'd prefer that my prospective employers can't pull up something I said in a moment of stupidity five years ago.


        Sorry. That battle is lost. It was lost at least when the scammers started archiving NNTP.
    • by A beautiful mind (821714) on Sunday December 02, 2007 @01:19PM (#21552901)
      It's the difference between letting passers by see you on the street and having a 24/7 surveillance network watch you in every public moment of your life, with total search capabilities.
    • Sorta (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Moraelin (679338) on Sunday December 02, 2007 @01:38PM (#21553041) Journal
      Let me tell you my favourite "in Soviet Russia" kind of story. The story of how a handful of Party officials held some hundreds of millions of people in line.

      Yes, everyone knows about Stalin's brutal mass executions and deportations. Very distasteful business, that. It also created so much resentment that it was unsustainable in the long run.

      So it evolved into something more subtle: the idea that somewhere there's a dossier about you, containing a lot of the stupid things you've said in the past. You don't know exactly what or how much. (After all, they were the non-computer kind.) And you don't know when or how it will bite you in the arse later.

      Maybe you can kiss any chance of traveling abroad goodbye. Maybe now your chances of promotion or of finding a better paid job, just became nil. Or maybe you're just this far from having to explain it all to the secret police and, if you're lucky, looking forward to a long career somewhere in Siberia. Or maybe it will bite your kid in the arse, if they can't get you. Etc.

      In a nutshell, the idea was that you don't have an expectation of privacy. Anything you say, even nodding approvingly when comrade Piotr swears at the government at the pub, might become permanently attached to you and a factor in which way your future goes.

      Worse yet, how do you know if comrade Piotr isn't an agent provocateur, trying to get you to say something you'll regret?

      So people learned to think twice before opening their mouth, and avoid saying anything that might be used against them. It turned them into a mass of isolated (and thus vulnerable) individuals, because not many risked saying (or even listening to) anything that could have been the start of an organized resistance.

      And now back to the topic, here's what I wonder: why the heck do we allow the same in the West, if it's done by corporate PHB's instead of the Communist Party?

      The effects, way I see it, can be exactly the same: anything you ever say or do is recorded _somewhere_. Be it Google, or such recorder bots or whatever. And in an age where HR drone routinely google employees and prospective employees, it can come back to bite you in the arse.

      And to get even more back on topic: even if you started a private conversation with comrade Piotr, how do you know if he's not just baiting you for something to post on Bash?

      Yes, nicks are a privacy tool, but for most people it's not as unbreakable as they think. We already know that most ISPs would give away the owner of an IP address without even asking for a court order. Did you ever register that nick? Because if you did, now the IRC server has information linking that nick to an email address. If you think none can be bullied into giving it away, think twice.

      Plus, are you paranoid enough to keep _all_ conversation at the level of "I'm evolvearth, you don't need to know my RL name and telephone number"? Well, kudos if you do, but most people don't. For most, online communication seems to be just an extension of RL communication. (And please don't imagine that said in a condemning tone or anything.)

      So basically, all these attempts of recording everything we say or do... will they just turn us into some obedient serfs to our corporate overlords? You know, better not say anything that makes you sound like a maladjusted anarchist, because some HR drone will google you. That might be your job you're throwing away there. Better not say anything against the government too, because you don't know when your (current or future) company gets a chance at a government pork-barrel contract that requires a thorough background check. Etc.

      Yes, you can password protect channels, do it all in private channels, etc, but I'd say even that might not help you much once enough people learned to just keep their mouth and fear strangers asking about certain matters.

      Just some (admittedly pessimistic) stuff to think about, if you're bored enough ;)
      • Re:Sorta (Score:5, Insightful)

        by j0nb0y (107699) <jonboy300@yahMOSCOWoo.com minus city> on Sunday December 02, 2007 @04:25PM (#21554427) Homepage
    • and we know that actual people do keep logs of us.

      And you don't think that the scale is a concern? It's one thing that people keep a log, but now, even that's not necessary, just have 'bots log in.
  • Freenode as OSS? (Score:3, Informative)

    by epiphani (254981) <epiphani.dal@net> on Sunday December 02, 2007 @12:38PM (#21552543)
    So what exactly makes an IRC network FOSS? Almost all the major networks have been publishing their code since their inception. Given that I've been part of the coding team for DALnet for the last seven years - and publishing Bahamut as GPL the entire time, saying that freenode is the "largest FOSS network"...

    As a side note, DALnet has banned tor nodes quite a while ago, because of services abuse coming from those IP addresses.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by jargon82 (996613)
      It's that the network is dedicated to supporting and promoting FOSS, not that the networks code is FOSS (although it is).
    • by Compholio (770966)

      ... saying that freenode is the "largest FOSS network"...
      They're not talking about Freenode as being FOSS, they're talking about how the community on Freenode is mostly composed of FOSS projects. Many FOSS projects hold their meetings or make their developers available on Freenode, I know when I'm looking for help with a particular project that Freenode is the first place I go.

  • If you're posting something on the internet, you should have the expectation that everyone in the whole world may someday know it was you who wrote it.

    David Brin's essay on the end of privacy is probably appropriate reading here...
  • So anonymity for individual people is a privacy right of the holiest nature, but anonymity for bots is bad because then you can't discriminate against them. Hmm.
    • by Sique (173459)
      As Bots are not human, they don't have human rights.
  • Wow... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Blakey Rat (99501) on Sunday December 02, 2007 @12:47PM (#21552623)
    The three people who still use IRC are going to be *pissed!*

    (Last time I used IRC was in an attempt to get support on a particular open source software package. Worst. Support. Ever. In a room with 50+ connected people, seemingly every single one was AFK for a solid 5 minutes. Of course when someone got back, they just told me I was in the wrong IRC room to ask that question, [you know, the one in the product's documentation!] and I was stupid for not knowing it. The other 49 AFK people never said a word, so I kind of wondered why the hell they even bothered to connect. Of course, maybe they were all secret IRC logging bots, heh.)
    • Re:Wow... (Score:4, Informative)

      by radarsat1 (786772) on Sunday December 02, 2007 @12:55PM (#21552701) Homepage
      I agree that IRC is an odd medium to get support for a piece of software, but I've personally had the exact opposite experience. I've been getting to know git [git.or.cz] lately. Seeing as it's a bit of a strange beast, I've run into a few problems occasionally due to using the wrong command or whatever. Twice, I decided to try popping onto freenode (using Pidgin) and had my answer within about 10 seconds.

      That said, I personally don't really _expect_ "good support" for FOSS, I usually assume that it's up to me to figure it out, and otherwise, that mailing lists are usually the best place to look. I'd say that about 95% of the time someone else has previously had the same problem and I can get my answer through Google in a few minutes.

      Sure, there are times where I have to browse through pages and pages of hits, but often it's a really special corner case, and then I decide to make a post so that my question and answer might be archived somewhere for someone else to find. Don't forget to check newsgroups! Google Groups in particular contains tons of answers.
      • by Blakey Rat (99501)
        It wasn't my *choice* (I didn't even have an IRC client on my computer.) The product's documentation said to go into that IRC channel for help. If IRC is the worst place to go for support, why would the documentation point me there? And assuming that IRC is the best place to go for support... well, that open source product just had really crummy support, I guess is what it comes down to either way.

        For what it's worth I much, much prefer web forums to mailing lists and to IRC. I don't want to subscribe to a
      • Re:Wow... (Score:5, Funny)

        by Alioth (221270) <no@spam> on Sunday December 02, 2007 @02:25PM (#21553463) Journal
        I was searching Google Groups in about 2002, for information on a linking problem when building Nethack (a missing library) on a rather oddball MIPS machine running Linux. The first hit that came back... ... was me, asking exactly the same question in 1992.

        It was a very strange moment.
        (Incidentally, no one had an answer then, either. I don't remember how I solved it then, or how I solved it in 2002, but I do remember eventually solving the problem).

    • IRC is hit for miss these days. Some are really active, others you have to wait for hours for an answer, for anyone even to type anything. My feeling is, if your project has an IRC channel for support, there better be someone there ready to answer a question 24/7.
    • Well you obviously don't like IRC because you've only used it for support. For those of us who use it to just chat it's fine. And guess what? We usually leave our clients connected 24/7 even when we're not there. Would you have rather joined a support channel to find it empty? Maybe they could rename #support to #peoplewhocareaboutyourproblem.

      Some IRC communities are hostile towards newcomers, giving a bad impression. But if you look around enough you'll find some that are ok.

      One time I joined a c

    • by Jugalator (259273)

      (Last time I used IRC was in an attempt to get support on a particular open source software package. Worst. Support. Ever. In a room with 50+ connected people, seemingly every single one was AFK for a solid 5 minutes.
      Yes, that's MUCH worse than a commercial package with phone support! You're NEVER put on hold for 5 minutes there, I tell you! ;-)
  • I use #wikipedia on Freenode almost every day. Posting logs from that channel to the internet is strictly prohibited, and if we find someone doing it, we ban them. Now I tend to cycle through lots of nicks there, most of which had 0 google hits when I started using them. Now they get dozens of hits (like this one) and that's because of these logging bots that post to the internet.
  • "The company says a channel is dropped when file sharing activity is detected and private conversations are not eavesdropped in anyway."

    Well, that sounds like an easy fix... a few fake XDCC offer bots and they'll go away.
  • If it violates their privacy statement, you should sue their asses off.
  • just like DejaNews (Score:3, Interesting)

    by m2943 (1140797) on Sunday December 02, 2007 @01:31PM (#21552993)
    USENET used to be similar to IRC, in that it was used for casual, short-lived conversations, with expiration times for articles ranging from days to a few weeks. Post-1977, those articles should be automatically copyrighted and companies should not have a right to repurpose them from their originally intended usage. Well, that didn't stop companies like DejaNews from putting everything up on-line and making it searchable. Now, this company is doing the same thing for IRC.

    I'm actually all for the principle that if you put it on the web or in a chat or on the public airwaves, people should be able to copy it, archive it, and redistribute it. However, such a principle needs to be formulated and enforced uniformly; it simply isn't right for some groups to get away with ignoring copyright and others to get charged with copyright infringement.
    • by Columcille (88542) *
      I started using Usenet in High School with no idea that the content might be available later. Now I'm amazed at how much can be found. Just a week or so ago I dug through Google Groups looking at archives of messages I posted over a decade ago. Amazing stuff, and sort of scary in many ways. I can see the value of such archives, but I also would prefer not to have any of my old content online anymore. Like most people, my High School years would be best left forgotten. :)
  • by Anonymous Coward
    why is it that people on slashdot still are beating this dead horse? you should have NO expectation of privacy in a public forum. that's what public means. get over yourselves. stop acting like your rights to privacy are being trampled when you make an ass out of yourselves in public.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by TheVoice900 (467327)
      You're right. Someone should just be allowed to follow you in public and record all your conversations in a public space on a tape recorder, transcribe them, and then post them online in a searchable database for the world to see. After all, you have no expectation of privacy in a public space, right?
  • It seems very silly (at best) to expect "privacy" on a public communications channel, especially when probably a lot of the participants keep their own logs anyway.
  • Freenode's demands to IRSeeK are:

    1. remove all previous logs
    2. make the bots easily identifiable and on a OPT-IN basis only
    3. make it easy for a channel owner to part a irseek bot from a channel should he/she change their mind
    4. its heavily advertised on join of a channel that it is being logged

    Additionally, Freenode wants a public apology to all their affected users.

    Or?

    Short of suing the company for copyright infringement (which I think would be difficult to make stick in court), I don't really see what kind of leverage they have. Basically, their demands are "go out of business", because that's what complying with their demands would mean. So why should IrSeeK comply?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Alioth (221270)
      I don't see how making things opt-in and the bot easily identifiable is a demand to go out of business; it sounds very reasonable to me.

      Some channels (particularly support types) will have use for a search bot.

      It seems a bit underhanded how they disguised the bots as a human and used tor to hide the activity. Look at the web: the only search engines that try and disguise themselves and which ignore robots.txt belong to spammers. Legitimate search engines obey robots.txt and are easily identifiable by their
  • Once all information is publicly available, we won't need spy agencies anymore...
  • That IRC traffic is being logged or that it has been made available on a public database?


    If its the latter, you might be able to get it (the public access) taken down based on terms of use. If its the former, good luck. You are using the Internet. You are being logged. Live with it.

  • by A Guy From Ottawa (599281) on Sunday December 02, 2007 @02:31PM (#21553507)
    Communicating through plain text on the internet no longer considered private.

    More at eleven.
  • by pongo000 (97357) on Sunday December 02, 2007 @02:35PM (#21553543)
    FWIW, IRSeeK seems to have had a change of heart, or at least is being receptive to privacy concerns:

    http://www.irseek.com/blog/ [irseek.com]

    Sounds like a genuine response of concern to me...
  • by EddyPearson (901263) on Sunday December 02, 2007 @02:48PM (#21553653) Homepage
    This is just a sure fire way to cause more chans to go invite only (+i).
  • by wikinerd (809585) on Sunday December 02, 2007 @03:14PM (#21553857) Journal

    As an IRC user I dislike IRSeek's business model and practices very much. Discussions on IRC channels are by definition available only to the people who join in, and making any log available without asking is bad etiquette and in most places it is against the terms of use. If we wanted to make our discussions public, we would speak in a Web forum or USENET newsgroup, or we would use our own logging facility and post the logs on our webpages.

    People who believe IRC is dead or don't appreciate it are obviously not worthy of being called nerds. IRC is alive and well, and it is very interesting and useful. Remember that there are many IRC servers across the globe and many channels in them, just as there are many USENET newsgroups. If one network or channel is touched by the Eternal September, go to another server and at some point you *will* find interesting people.

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