RedZone, Second Life IP Address Detection Tool, Runs Afoul of New SL Policy, EU Data Privacy Law

In an odd turn of events that is all too common online these days, an ingenious system created for Second Life land holders to reduce incidents of harassment and abuse by malicious griefers has itself turned out to be a potentially nefarious tool of harassment and abuse.  zF RedZone is a tool that was designed to help Second Life users identify and block problem users from entering their territory and wreaking havoc.  If you were looking for a way to get rid of griefers (miscreants who live for the sheer joy of making life miserable for others on the Internet) and copybots,(copyright infringers who use special scripts to rip off others intellectual property) RedZone was one of the best ways to fight back.  It helped users by uncovering the IP addresses of avatars that visited a certain piece of land in Second Life (which it achieved through a scripting trick that exploited a hole created by audio and multimedia streamers, allowing the program to make the user’s computer access a certain website, thereby revealing their IP address).

Once in possession of an avatar’s IP address, the program created a database of SL avatars associated with the same IP address.  By matching up the information, users could then create a list of banned avatars and prevent them from entering their territory.  This allowed landholders to exclude any malefactor, regardless of which avatar/identity the person was hiding behind.  The incredible thing about this is that it worked–but there was a catch.  The IP addresses that RedZone captured were not necessarily unique to the individual at the keyboard.  Because of dynamic IP address generators, such as those found in many wireless routers, among others, there were a lot of erroneous correlations of avatars and “alts” (alternative avatars created under one unique account).  Anyone who shared a server or router with other SL users would most likely have their accounts lumped together, creating all sorts of problems that goes well beyond the annoyance of spammers.

Because RedZone gathered this information in the background, without users’ consent, it created a fairly significant privacy breach, particularly for users in the EU.  As was described in a blog post recently at Dwell On It, EU data privacy laws include IP addresses as personal data that may not be collected without prior authorization if they can be linked back to an individual user.  Because RedZone collects IP addresses indiscriminately, it is likely that it picked up personally identifiable data potentially in violation of EU law.  U.S. laws are a bit more squishy on the subject, but a recent change (as of Feb. 25, 2011) to Second Life’s Community Standards Policy requires that any disclosure of IP address information is prohibited without first obtaining each user’s consent:

4. Disclosure
Residents are entitled to a reasonable level of privacy with regard to their Second Life experience. Sharing personal information about your fellow Residents without their consent — including gender, religion, age, marital status, race, sexual preference, alternate account names, and real-world location beyond what is provided by them in their Resident profile — is not allowed. Remotely monitoring conversations in Second Life, posting conversation logs, or sharing conversation logs without the participants’ consent are all prohibited.

All of this is particularly interesting because of the way it has come about.  I don’t know how much of a threat the previously gathered information will pose.  According to the reports, it is a violation to reveal any of the previously gathered info, but it isn’t a violation to possess it.  What people can do with that info may be limited, based on the fact that the data was fairly unreliable to begin with–any griefers worth their salt already know how to get around IP address barriers in less time than it takes to brew a pot of coffee.  The commenter who brought this matter to my attention said that litigation would be forthcoming, but as yet, I don’t see what their damages are.  If they are threatening litigation in the EU, where the courts are fairly toothless in my understanding, I still don’t see the benefit.  Since RedZone has adapted to the new rules, it seems like it may be a moot point.

Then again, there could be a lot more to this than I am seeing at the moment.  As one person put it, the threat from cyberstalking and harassment is real and there are few tools available to help users fight back, since blocking an offending avatar will only stop the abuse for the amount of time it takes to log in with a new alt.  People were willing to pay $20 US for  RedZone because it made SL more enjoyable.  Short of a subpoena for the user’s MAC address and a restraining order, it seems like the policy against RedZone was one step forward and two steps back…

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About Justin Kwong

An attorney in the Twin Cities and adjunct professor at William Mitchell College of Law where I teach a seminar on the law of virtual worlds.
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36 Responses to RedZone, Second Life IP Address Detection Tool, Runs Afoul of New SL Policy, EU Data Privacy Law

  1. Janae Ferraris says:

    I bend over backwards to protect myself & my ID anywhere online and to find that Redzone has come along in SL and can obtain my ISP is abhorrent. All this BS about ‘griefing’ is over the top and is played up to be far more than I believe actually occurs. I have been in SL several years now and only ever encountered it once when someone went and rezzed rexxers all through a store with huge things coming out of them. Wow, big deal, that hurt! …NOT! So too the copybotting. Really is it still so common now? Or am I just out of the loop on that one? I signed up to SL believing that my privacy was my privacy and that I was safe. Apparantly not so any more, which basically sucks. Any redzone user can ban the ass outta me cos I wouldn’t drop a dime in their stores if it meant savin my life! All this alt cr*p is cr*p! No one ever complained when my alt went to a store and bought the same item I went and bought there too! But they’re on the bandwagon if my alt was to go pick up a free gift as well as me! …which I don’t really do anyways now. SL is meant to be protecting me from having someone else know who my alts are …NONE OF THEIR BUSINESS! grrrrrr somebody stop me!…

    • Calubious says:

      You must not be spending much time in places that are attractive for things such as griefing and copybotting. I own a sim and there I have a lot of things to do, and certain people find it funny to ruin it , so they grief, and yes it gets bad sometimes. Also I have created some of the best racing wheels in SL and they were already copied and distributed less than a week of releasing them, by one of the residents in the sim, who has now been banned from SL. SL sucks it is full of exploiters and cheaters and theives. And liars. be careful.

  2. Wolf Baginski says:

    The legal situation in the EU is pretty fuzzy. An IP address might be personal data, just as a telephone number might be, so the advice is to handle it as if it is. Safe, secure, and accurate; those are the principles to follow. But whether the EU law can be applied is very unclear. It’s a question of jurisdiction.

    A lot of the obstacles to linking IP address to an individual are going to vanish once IPv6 supplants IPv4. They’re not going to need NAT, the sort of thing which puts a whole college dorm on the net with a single IP address. I think we have to get ahead of the curve on this.

  3. Vivienne says:

    If paying twenty dollars for something in SL which enjoys them is a justification for defending RedZone, then you can defend any malicious Viewer Hack sold on the black market, too. For some people griefing and spy tools are VERY enjoyable, regardless the price.

    Fact is: There are Terms of Service in place which actually allow Linden Lab to deal with cybercime in a totally sufficient way – if they want to do so. There are privacy laws in place. Potential EU directives are pwerful enough to be a serious threat to Linden Lab (as been proved by the introduction of VAT for european customers).

    Fact is: Fighting potential cyberstalking and harassment the vigilant and lynchmob way, by exploiting a security flaw (!) in Linden Lab software and by breaking existing laws and Terms of Service discredits the cause and leads to nowhere but public outrage and a further weakening of Linden Lab´s position on the market.

    Fact is: Any REAL offender on the internet can circumvene something inadequate like Redzone easily, anyway.

    In my opinion this guy managed to make a nice amount of money for nothing – by illegaly exploiting a bug – and by exploiting the human urge for power (I am invincible), curiosity, a big shot of customer naivity and Linden Lab carelessness.

    And that´s it. He should take the money and run. Best for him, best for SL.

    • Justin Kwong says:

      You raise an interesting point, Vivienne, that there are plenty of “legitimate” ways that users can protect their sims from malicious attacks. It seems to me, however, that those tools must not be all that effective if people would resort to paying anything more than a nominal sum (I consider $20 US to be more than nominal) to acquire a program from some third-party. If that’s the case, then Linden Labs needs to get some engineers on the problem sooner rather than later. In speaking with some of my students, a few of whom are software engineers, I know there are more concrete ways to identify users than by IP addresses, like MAC addresses, etc. You would think that Linden or some other virtual world designers would have figured out a way to do this by now without violating users’ privacy (or at least getting their consent), but that clearly hasn’t happened yet. Either it’s a much harder problem to solve than I imagine or they don’t see any valid business reasons to expend the resources on it. Whichever is the case, I guess I admire the guys who came up with RedZone for at least giving it a try, even if the end result was a cure that was much more of a problem than the disease.

      • Samael says:

        MAC address is not a fool proof way to ban anyone. $4 US buys you a new NIC and thus a new MAC. Or if you know what you are doing you can change your MAC to whatever you desire. Most savvy computer techs know that one. It takes about 30 seconds to change your MAC address. The only sure way to ban someone from that specific computer would be to log the UID of the chipset and CPU which requires some pretty direct hardware access. And even that can be changed easy enough and doesn’t stop users with multiple computers. The simple fact is that there is no sure way to stop griefers and harassment short of throwing them in jail. The only thing you can do is use the numerous inadequate tools like RedZone and other such options to minimize the risk of repeat offenders. Linden Labs takes griefing seriously but requires some pretty solid proof of the griefing and usually will tell you to turn off scripts, object create or object entry for everyone except group which would not be feasible for RP based sims. Thus you go back to being able to use the only options available to you.

        Now as for the so called exploit… every single website you go to logs your IP address. It is a fact of the internet. Your use of the website implicitly consents to such logging. Streaming media is streamed from a website which logs your IP so it knows where to send the media to. Streaming said media again implicitly consents to the logging of your IP. So if you do not wish to have your IP logged by parties other than Linden Labs in SL turn off streaming media. It is that simple.

      • Casey Pelous says:

        Indeed, many of the posts at their forum seem to reveal that at least some of their users honestly have no grasp of how to use the many, many options they have at their command.
        Others love the “vengeance is mine” aspect of this wildly inaccurate tool.
        And others are snoops who want to know people’s alts just because they want to know.
        What it never was effective for was banning copybots, the alleged raison d’etre supreme for the device. There are long, technical discussions of why this is so on other forums.
        The maker’s own statistics bear this out, and he himself has been quoted as saying (ironically, in defense of his own statistics but not his system), “Copybots are not as common as you think if you do more research.”
        redZone was/is most emphatically NOT “one of the best ways to fight back.” Ask anyone who runs a successful sim without this griefer tool — you’ll find that rZ’s methods and drama-inducement (complete with “burning” the offender to a skeleton) are the very worst ways to deal with attention seeking griefers. The best ways involve educating them — many griefers really are ignorant of SL and local norms — then quietly removing them with no muss, no drama, and no elaborate communication. That’s the way that’s no fun for the griefers and they quickly get bored and go elsewhere.

      • Itazura says:

        Justin, I’m very close to a former Linden who worked on the G-Team for a number of years. When I told her how Redzone worked and what it claimed it could do (stop serial griefers and copybotters) her reaction was a hearty laugh and she said, “Yeah. Good luck with that.”

        Actual griefers and copybotters are rare, but every one of them bypasses the myriad of ways Linden Lab uses to block their access quite easily. Bypassing Redzone for them is something they can do without even thinking. They will have a new IP, new MAC, new serial ID, new disposable email, and new account in under 5 minutes. If LL can’t stop them (and they really can’t) Redzone has no hope of doing any better and they know that.

        Some buyers may think that it protects them and that is why they use it, but many others understand what I explained above and see that security is just a pretext. They aren’t paying $20 to keep out griefers and copybots. They are paying $20 to be able to see unsuspecting people’s alts. That’s what it is really used for.

  4. Shelby says:

    I’m willing to bet that the revealing of alts was the primary reason for the majority of those who bought this ‘tool.’ They can yell and scream and stomp their pixel feet all they want, repeat the tired “I was only trying to protect my land/store/creations,” but I’ll stick with my bet. The fact that the creator of this ‘tool’ threatened to put the database out there for sale if this product was banned from Second Life said it all.

    • Justin Kwong says:

      It certainly does cut against arguments for its legitimacy, there’s no doubt about that. I still wonder why Red Zone could have been considered a necessity in the first place. Do you think there were any legitimate users or were they all malicious? Is there a good way to block people and their alts that isn’t a back door for spammers?

      • Shelby says:

        Well, imo those who really wanted it for security purposes specifically were more open about using it. If it’s such a great product, there should be no problem with the users of this device letting residents of SL know their land/club/store is ‘protected’ by it before we go there, let us choose whether or not we submit to having any data harvested from our accounts. Why be sneaky about it? Would it be perhaps because they know the majority of SL users would avoid these places like the plague?
        I think everyone who is in the data base at all should be informed of exactly what of their data has been harvested in the first place.
        The RZ forum discussions all seem focused on how they can continue the service without LL or anyone else except the RZ users knowing it’s still working as it should, what exactly they should try to get around the restrictions that LL is now placing on the product. If they continue in this line of discussion, I think LL should just yank zFire and all his products from the grid entirely. He clearly has no intention of making this product conform to TOS.

  5. Itazura says:

    Yes, there is more than you’re seeing at this moment. You almost hit on it right in your article. At first you said it worked, then admit later that any griefer worth his salt knows how to bypass an IP ban in no time. You are correct that even the most noobish of griefer knows how to bypass an IP ban. What is incorrect is that Redzone actually ever worked to stop griefers or copybots for that very reason. The only people it “worked” for were people who were not bothering to hide their IP by a proxy or any of the other dozen or so things griefers and copybotters do to avoid detection by Linden Lab on a routine basis.

    What it is excellent at (and what I believe it’s real purpose always has been) is tracking otherwise innocent people and being an integral part of drama mongers toolkit. Users quickly become infatuated with the feeling of power they get from the idea that they can uncover people’s alt accounts for whatever reason they feel entitled to that information for.

    It’s only marginally useful at best in stopping actual security threats while threatening the privacy and ability of otherwise innocent people to continue to enjoy their in world experience.

  6. Rooted says:

    When the HUD that allowed spying on other peoples’ land was released, the verbiage on the RedZone forums made it clear what these loudest supporters of RedZone intended the device to be used for.

    I believe the anti-copybotting and anti-griefing palavar was intended to ensure that some legitimate merchants were sucked in, so that RedZone would be in more places and able to scrape more data, than if it were marketed as what it really is.

    As an anti-griefer device, it certainly fails; it orbits and cages people not even on the RZ users’ land, and attempts to deliberately crash viewers. These activities are deemed griefing by LL.

    In my view, it’s a greifer tool, not an anti-griefer device.

    The purile effect of turning someone to a pile of bones with particle blood stains, before ejecting them while attempting to crash their viewer, makes it a particularly blatent example of a griefer tool in my view.

    LL provide tools for dealing with griefing, and most SL users who are reasoned adults, find these work fine. Reading the RZ forums, it is not clear that RZ users tend to be reasoned adults, and I cannot help but wonder whether “maturity” would be a better cure for these peoples “griefer-woes”, than any technological solution could ever be.

  7. Inara Pey says:

    Justin, three simple points:

    1. RedZone *doesn’t work* as an “anti copybotting tool”. It works on the principle of exploiting the media streaming capabilities of Second Life. At the most basic, all a “copybotter” has to do is disable the media streaming capabilities of the SL client (which *any* user can do) and RedZone falls flat on its face. Beyond this, there is also the fact the anyone intent on copying goods using a hacked SL client can (and more than likely does) alter it so that it spoofs a “legitimate” client – so ReZone again falls flat on its face.

    2. As an anti-griefing tool, RedZone provides no better protection than the tools supplied by Linden Lab themselves, or other non-invasive land security tools available within Second Life.

    3. The linking of “alts” by RedZone is prone to massive levels of inaccuracy. The system takes no account of dynamic IP addresses, block IP addresses and suchlike. Thus (and as has been shown through the massive amount of Second Life abuse reports filed against the RedZone system for incorrectly linking accounts) RedZone comes up with an incredibly high number of “false positives” when attempting to link accounts, further undermining its “usefulness”.

    As to other issues, many have used the “your IP address is public” argument to defend RedZone, pointing out (as Samuel does) that the “the website implicitly consents to such logging” and that “Streaming media is streamed from a website which logs your IP so it knows where to send the media to”. Both arguments are pure misdirection.

    When I visit a website, my consent to have my IP address logged is in no way “implied”. The fact that I have *chosen* to visit that website means I have made an *informed* choice: I willingly clicked on the link to go to that site. The same with streaming media: I listen to a music stream because I load up my application of choice and make a conscious choice to connect to that stream.

    And in both cases, it it highly doubtful that the people running the website or the stream are busy collecting the received IP address and trying to link them up to other data about me.

    When people stream media in Second Life, they are expecting to do precisely that – stream media. They *are not* expecting to find the streaming capability has been effectively hijacked in order for information to be gathered by a third-party individual, unsanctioned by Linden Lab, to be used howsoever that individual deems fit. *No* consent, either *informed* or *implied*. Consent doesn’t even enter into it, period. It is harvesting plain as simple.

    From Samuel’s comment on implied consent is akin to having a burglar say, “Well, Samuel left his back window open, so he gave the implied consent it’s OK form me to enter his house and ransack it. After all, if he didn’t want me there, he’d have closed the window. It’s as simple as that.”

    Finally, to answer your question as to why RedZone was considered a necessity?

    Well, put simply, it isn’t. That’s why the vast majority of people in Second Life don’t use it. None of the major estates deploy it, none of the major brans deploy it; very few individuals use it to secure their homes.

    Why? Because they are perfectly capable of running their businesses / Second Lives without the need for drama and fully appreciative of the fact they have tools (through the Estate and Land management options of the SL Client) to deal with harassment and other problems.

    The only people who consider it a necessity are those who seem to have an over-inflated sense of their own importance and – it would seem – an inability to handle what amounts to small, personal disputes with other residents calmly and without drama. Instead, they look upon every single dispute, regardless of size or impact as “griefing” and seek the most extreme means of dealing with it. They have the attitude that because they “own” their land in SL, they have an undue right of entitlement to behave howsoever they please, regardless of circumstances.

    RedZone simply feeds off this “market”, nothing more. In an earlier age, observers might have referred to it as “flim flam”, and regard those fool enough to buy into it as “marks”.

    • Rooted says:

      You make good points Inara, but I would add that since LL implemented the means of detecting copybot viewers at login (and refusing their attempt to connect to the grid), any copybot viewer that can make it onto the grid at all, is undetectable as a copybot viewer to RedZone, even with media on.

      • Inara Pey says:

        I’m not sure on the effectiveness of the login checks.

        Technically, Emerald is a banned Viewer, but people are still using it on the Grid (and early versions have download capabilities). But the fact that Viewers can be so easily spoofed is the key here, and on that, we’re in agreement.
        :)

  8. Jag says:

    The problem is and remains, as long as no one is linked to their alt accounts their is no accountability for their actions.
    No accountability= do whatever you want without worry or repercussion
    But we are not real anyways are we? we are just a bunch of pixels in a video game,
    so how can anyone really have any info on you? If you are not linked to your alts by your main account you really dont exist? Anywhere but the game.
    Its never as real as it seems :-)

  9. xFire Zue's rival says:

    I’m thinking of creating a new version of this RedZone thing. I’ll call it RedSone and market it for FREE alongside ZF’s. Anyone one else ideas or can help on this lets make it opensource even! LOL. And then ban ZF on it…

    • Shelby says:

      oh, yeah, just what we need. yet another sneaky privacy threatening data harvesting pos to try to avoid.
      I personally would be okay with Redzone IF THEY LET US KNOW THEY USE IT. Meaning – show me a red parcel on the map if it’s redzone enabled, like they show me a yellow parcel when it’s for sale. I’ll just avoid the red zones. No biggie. Protesting via your wallet is a very effective way of protesting. Not sinking to the zFire & Co. level.

  10. Thaiis Thei says:

    “This allowed landholders to exclude any malefactor, regardless of which avatar/identity the person was hiding behind. ”

    Unless the user is using a VPN…

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  13. Alex says:

    All one has to do to get around this is download tor. At that point your IP becomes untraceable.

  14. Emily says:

    Red-Zone is a nasty little hype. The amount of real-life laws broken by it’s exsistance is disgusting. The creator of red-zone was found out to have maliciously used the program to attempt to break into his own customer’s accounts! JLU was in FULL support of red-zone due to it’s supposed and bright-minded “IP/Alt Ban” in order to keep other paying customers off of Second-Life/Grid, following their own nasty little wiki(which has people’s real-life information mixed in) and their own “PhantzomZone” peice of poopoo and dancing around in AR glory hats and the little favortism they received from corrupt lindens in the past, which, quiet frankly, the entire group should be deleted for the fact that they abuse the report-system and have harbored detailed information about those who have used Second-Life without their prior knowledge and consent, all in a neat little socialist package while down-playing the “good” side of sponsoring donations!

    Those who have used Red-Zone have a high sense of superiority/fear/control factor that they are allowed to do this because, whoopie doo, someone or someone’s threw a box or two around and the “Residents” act as though their whole online experience is coming to the end. On Second-life, you can meet the most PATHETIC people who take a virtual world so seriously, that their willing to invade the privacy of others (whether they were an interruption or not)disregarding the fact they are holding themselves accountable to any real-life laws broken in the process!

    When users sign up for SL, they sign up for the service to use Second-Life, not to have their data and account info streamed into some faggot’s 3rd party website using a exploit in the service that other users, who pay a fee for, can access a person’s SL account information and every future account they ever create on Second-Life is sheer harassment/stalking, a TOS violation on ANY social/mmorpg platform/Website, and a screaming real-life violations if the harassed wish to sue due to issues that arrive from the very misuse/exsistance of this spyware! It is disgusting that land-owning crowd that practically dominates SL now feel as though they have a “right” to stalk/lock others out of the grid, LL’s paying customers that also use second-life, most of them who have not done anything at all! Not only was Red-Zone horribly inaccurate, but it was a down-right scam. How many idiots got their money ripped off from them due to Red-Zone all in a little nasty scheme playing mind-games on anyone stupid, desperate, and gulliable to believe it? Everyone tots that stupid TOS around like it’s god’s given law, yet on the flip-side they have used and ENCOURAGED red-zone due to something as weak as an avatar spamming a chat with gestures or prim. Hypocrites to the fullest, greedy, and gluttons. The Second-Life forums are so filled with politcal satire it’s pathetic. Here you have a company that is so sheerly lazy that it uses/depends on it’s own customers to do dirty-work through the exsistance of another privacy invasion issue, the self-proclaimed “”police”” watch groups which are nothing more than AR parties and fronting! These “virtual-world” systems are a joke and are more about social-status and economy than anything else.

  15. WasteOfSpace Linden says:

    And where is Mr Xue now? Languishing in a Washington state jail.

    As for those who keep saying over and over again, “hurrr durrr every website records your IP address” – that’s irrelevant. The point is that IP addresses are being correlated with avatar names.

    Suppose your IP address points right to your front door, as is the case for many people, albeit a minority. How would you like some power-drunk neckbeard SL pervert knowing the IP address associated with your avatar then?

    What if you’re a parent whose child is logging in to SL without your knowledge (we all know SL is full of kids and “ageplay” pedos and that age verification is a joke), and some pedo used one of these devices to track him/her down?

    Unfortunately it seems this is what it will take before LL wake up and block the script command that makes these devices possible. For this reason alone, SL should be shut down. Contact your congressman, senator, MP, or whatever, and make them aware of this issue. See how long LL stay in business once word of the disgrace they’re presiding over gets out.

  16. nunyabizness says:

    There is no such thing as “privacy” in SL anymore. I’m one the many pissed off residents that had their privacy invaded because of RZ. LL should be facing charges and fines for allowing the info that RZ made public to just any joe Shmo.
    I agree with the comment above this. So what if web admins have the info about your PC, MAC Address etc etc? That is completely irrelevant. Web admins are NOT using it for malicious uses like a few pple in SL I know of.
    I know web admins could go to prison for misusing the info they have available to them. So, why is nothing being done about the SL end users that use that info for malicious purposes? A better question would be… Why did LL ever allow it to happen at all? They had to know there would be end users with a vendetta against others, and use that info to attack any PC they wish to attack. It’s been done whether anybody wants to believe it or not.

  17. Darker says:

    Redzone or any other alt detecting tool can’t work good in SL.
    Dynamic IP adresses can cause a false positive, but this isn’t the big issue.
    SL Lag is the biggest cause that Redzone alt detection give a 60% false positives.
    How this works??
    An example. You visite a busy sim which has a lot of lag.
    The alt detector see you come in. And it start gathering your information
    But seconds after you another avatar jumps in to the same sim.
    By the lag it mix up those 2 avatars.
    Hardwood Resident = ip 128.128.123.123
    John Doe = ip 128.128.123.124
    But redzone register John doe = ip 128.128.123.123
    Next time you enter a sim with Redzone you have an alt John Doe = Hardwood Resident.
    But it don’t stop there, as both avatars aren’t an alt, but visiting many different sims where there is sometimes lag and where this mixup take place, Redzone’s data base get polluted in a way an pyramid game or multilevel marketing works. This is something the Redzone makers keep quiet.
    more then 60% of redzone alt detections are false!!
    .

  18. Phacule Gothly says:

    I think the worst thinng here is businesses you thought were run by smart people in SL obviously are not when they employ RZ. I have been a sim owner for almost 3 years and really have not had the types of issues with grievers and copybots some claim to have. It’s a bloated view of ones own self importance that causes them to use this type of tool a complete lack of consideration as well. I know for a FACT these tools are used JUST for alt detection and will give you the example.

    A close friend of mine was a manager at Sweethearts and after a long time she quit after a disagreement with the owner. The owner banned her from the sim as he does a general practice when employees leave and when she attempted to go back under an alt her alt was banned as well. Really? How did he know that as she never told him? RZ of course.

    So all you advocates of this tool please spare me the dribble. I know of several that did employ it only to take it down after they found thier business drop becuase of so many false and i salute them for making the right decision. I WILL NOT buy anything from a person that uses this tool and have been compiling my own list of people who do to give to all I know so they will avoid them as well. Speaking from experience if you dont want grievers, dont be an ass and treat people with respect and fairness when they come to your sim. Grievers feed and feel justified in doing what they do if your not being reasonable so kill them with kindness and just maybe they will be your best costomer some day.

  19. Shelby says:

    um, major necro post – rz has been gone, kaput, off the grid for a really long time now.

  20. Lilly says:

    I too am a lawyer and even now (2012) it surprises me to see another lawyer defending the tools that would breach people’s privacy instead of defending them. Talk about Hippocrates’ Oath turning into Hypocrites’ oath, but for lawyers. I wonder where you had your mind and heart when you got into the college. Probably not for the idealism of defending the justice and protecting innocents, but for the quick buck it can bring if you are corrupt enough.

    People like you bring bad fame to lawyers.

    • Justin Kwong says:

      Lilly, I’m not sure if you actually read the post because at no point do I defend the RedZone software. I noted that it was an interesting work around for people who were trying to stop spammers, but it did so in a way that was just as wrong. So, I hardly think that makes me a hypocrite. Also, just to be clear, I don’t get paid a dime to write this blog. You don’t see any ads here, so I find your charge of corruption to be rather offensive.

  21. Pingback: is this ARG? » Blog Archive » isthisarg.org Social Media Digest for August 19th

  22. Nick says:

    Lol. Lily is NOT a lawyer – not actually reading all the facts before jumping in with accusations? What real lawyer would do that? Maybe she’s a cop. Or a polotician?
    As for these people who claim griefing is blown out of proportion; what grid are you on? Most griefers consider themselves extremely clever when they storm into your house/skybox/whatever enmass and start abusing you. I have a small rental business which I started up for two reasons; firstly, to make SL pay it’s own way ( a real joke…. SL is a furnace for money.) Secondly; because I was sick of paying people over blown rents for zero service.
    Griefers, freeloaders and squatters are the bain of my second exisistence and not because I don’t treat people fairly but because they are simply bored ( as in the case of the group that frequents a certain Infohub near my rental site and actually call themselves “hooligans” ) or too cheap to rent a place of their own – “Hey baby want to TP to a place I know?”. Even my own personal space is quite often invaded by the latter.
    I used to report abuse to LL but found they did nothing more than send me an email telling me the case was open and a second that it was closed. I was even told by a griefer that he had several alts and he would use any piece of land he chose regardless of my abuse report and there was nothing I, nor LL could do about it. But, I do not, nor have I ever used anything except banning rights to deal with these people. But, even closing a parcel to public access will not stop anyone – I’m sure we are all aware of the very simple way round that.
    Someone commented that LL were lazy and, in certain respects, this is true. Can any of us be sure that Red Zone no longer exists in SL? A woman I know has been griefed by a “man” she was involved with. She claims he took her to a place where there was a “machine”. He then told her where she lived and said he knew everything about her. Is this RZ, or a similar device? I know it’s not legal in just about any country in the world and if he has her ip address, even abandoning the avi she has built a (second) life around over years and making an alt will not protect her. I advised her to make a thorough report to LL but will this have any effect on a man who confesses to having over one hundred alts?
    LL is. in effect, nothing more than a server provider. From the second you log on as a noobie you are ripe for exploitation, whether it’s from the Bloodlines Ponzi Pyramid idiots that throw a bite request to every noob at the infohub, or the lazy lotharios waiting to pounce on unsuspecting women as they poof in for the first time – probably to talk them into having sex in one of my skyboxes!!
    I digress….. I recently obtained a copy of GreeZone which, if the blurb is to be believed, is the antithesis of RedZone. It is meant to show you warnings when any exploiter is nearby. But how do we know this is not just another ip gatherer? Has anyone ever given you a gift inworld? How do you know it doesn’t have a tracking device in it? They are readily available on marketplace. Why does LL allow this stuff to be sold openly? Who can you trust?
    In the end it’s all just an act of faith. LL as god? They certainly act like it – an absentee landlord who has handed down rules but doesn’t take an active role anymore.
    The truth is; there is no safe way to surf the net anymore. Since it became a trillion dollar business venture, everyone wants a slice and will get it by any means. SL, unfortunately, is no different.
    Such is (second) life.

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