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Questionable Data Mining Concerns IRC Community 306

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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  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 02, 2007 @01:31PM (#21552485)
    When will Google buy them out?
  • by Kohath ( 38547 ) on Sunday December 02, 2007 @01:44PM (#21552603)
    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.
  • Wow... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Blakey Rat ( 99501 ) on Sunday December 02, 2007 @01:47PM (#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.)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 02, 2007 @02:11PM (#21552817)
    My channel has a FAQ covering all manner of subjects. The channel topic links to the FAQ and requests that everyone read it. We even got chanserv to automatically message users as they join asking them to read the FAQ. Despite all of this we still have people constantly coming in and asking questions which are answered in the FAQ. If people can't even read a channel's official FAQ after being explicitly asked to more than once, why do you think they'll check some obscure IRC search engine?
  • by ShieldW0lf ( 601553 ) on Sunday December 02, 2007 @02:45PM (#21553103) Journal
    Oh so it's okay to pirate movies, TV shows, books, etc. because they are all publicly available?

    No, it's obligatory. If you pay for them, you're part of the system of oppression, which makes you an enemy. If you're not with us, you're against us, and a part of the Axis of Evil, and no longer subject to the bounds of common morality and ethics. People who pay for media should be caned.
  • Re:Wow... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Alioth ( 221270 ) <no@spam> on Sunday December 02, 2007 @03:25PM (#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).

  • by A Guy From Ottawa ( 599281 ) on Sunday December 02, 2007 @03:31PM (#21553507)
    Communicating through plain text on the internet no longer considered private.

    More at eleven.
  • by HNS-I ( 1119771 ) on Sunday December 02, 2007 @06:32PM (#21554847)
    Yeah man it must have been like, whoaaa, like '96 when I was like man I have all these modpoints and pfft . So yeah man hey!(remember them punchcards!). Yeah so, +5 insightful ey?

    The whole internet is a mess, just not the places I like to go. Same goes for IRC

Never buy what you do not want because it is cheap; it will be dear to you. -- Thomas Jefferson