Thursday, March 29, 2007

Banned in Boston, or Buggery and skulduggery

I have been banned from a commercial parcel in Second Life. How, you may ask, would a sweet girl like me get banned from anywhere? Well you may ask such a question! It's a long story, and you're not going to hear all of it. Names will be withheld to protect the guilty.

See, I was talking to a friend at my friend's house and happened to mention a certain parcel owner. I can't remember what I said. It was late on a Saturday, and I was, well, let's say deep in my cups. I know I didn't say anything scathing. I don't know this person well, but the person has always been kind to me, which I appreciate. I know for sure that one thing I said was quite innocent (and later misinterpreted), but I might have said something else that was less than complimentary about a specific situation, something I shouldn't have said. Hey, I might be virtual, but I'm humanly virtual, or maybe virtually human. In other words, I ain't perfect and never claim to be.

None of this would have mattered except for one thing: my friend's house was bugged. Bugged! Yes, such BS actually does go on in SL. A certain someone who also will remain nameless bugged my friend's place to spy on my friend. The bugger, seemingly intent on causing trouble (I don't really know the bugger's motivation), then passed this private conversation on to at least one person, the parcel owner in question. No idea where else it went, which is a bit disturbing. Anyway, the parcel owner took issue with what I said, which was only quoted back to me out of context. I politely refrained from reminding the parcel owner that the information came from a private conversation that had been bugged and then distributed, calmly absorbed the IM abuse coming my way, and apologized for any offence I had given, offering explanations where possible.

It was not enough for the parcel owner. I was banned, not only from this person's club but also from several stores that are also on the parcel. So not only can I no longer leave generous tips to the dancers at the club, as is my wont; I can't buy anything at those stores either. Now that is truly brilliant. It reminds me of a saying about cutting off one's nose to spite one's face.

I find that I am in good company on the banned list, however. Oh sure, a bunch of the banned folks are griefers. I can tell by the names. But several of my friends are on the list as well, and they are certainly not griefers. Fine, upstanding citizens of SL they are! And now I am among them. If at some point I get unbanned, well, I'll just have to live with the shame of that, unless I can manage to get myself re-banned. Meanwhile, I shall continue to tip generously and make purchases at places where I am welcome.


Patrice Cournoyer said...

I feel left out.. I want to be banned too!

Michael Keukert said...

Bugging is disturbingly simple. It would take me 5 minutes to write the required scripts from scratch. The eavesdropping itself is almost impossible to detect, especially when the avi planting the bug manages to make you the owner of the bug. And a bug can be hidden in any object, even in objects that you wear! The only safe way to disabled bugs is to disable scripted objects - but that would disable all your gadgets, AO's etc. too.

However, bugging is against TOS, and if you have hard proof you may file an abuse report. But then again Linden is a commercial venue, and if the abusee generates substantial revenue for Linden, I don't know how willing they are to follow up on abuse requests.

Let me know if I can help you on bugging understanding and countermeasures.

Véronique Lalonde said...

Hi Michael. Yeah, I suppose all it would take would be a listen event and then something to handle the incoming message text -- send an IM or whatever. And as you say, the scripted object would be difficult to detect unless a third party owned it. I've actually been wondering if there's any way to list all the objects on a parcel -- not just their count, but their names.

Thanks for your input and your offer of help.

Mischief said...

Hokey smokey.

I was shocked and bewildered to learn you had been banned. But that it came from your *private* words in a *bugged* conversation... that is deeply disturbing and wrong on too many levels.

If I've learned anything over the years ... I'm sure I must have. Let me check my notes. Ah - yes. I did learn a thing or two ... it's that life is too short to let those with such negativity to bring you down.

Those kinds of shenanigans are not anything I want to be around or support. So that's one landmark that's going to get the delete key.

*waves to the banned kids*
Hi hi folks. Can I come and play with you?

Michael Keukert said...

Cheyenne made very good promotion for the MystiTool, so I got one a week or so ago. It has a nifty function of doing a scan for SCRIPTED objects. That may be a starting point. Either get one of these yourself - or ask Cheyenne to do a sweep with hers. If I see you online next time I can do a sweep with mine too.

Michael Keukert said...

I got hired for bug-busting today. It was quite some work, but finally I found the bug in an apartment. I got banned from the parcel of the developer in return, so I filed a report on him. The eavesdropper was known the my "client", so I let her handle it.
Just on a sidenote: IM's can't be eavesdropped. Everything else can.

Véronique Lalonde said...

You got banned by a developer for finding a bug on his or her property? I hope LL pays attention to your report. That's just creepy.

Yes, I know that IMs are safe. At least for now! As for my friend, I think the bug was found. As well, my friend is no longer in that house.

Best wishes on your anti-spying business!