Thursday, March 17, 2011

So what now?

It's definitely been a chaotic couple of weeks to say the least.  Sometimes I take a step back and look at the big picture, and I think to myself "how the hell did all this happen?"  Which of course, leads me to my next question "So what now?"

This entire privacy issue was truly a snowball effect of the worst kind.  It all started with a vulnerability in media security, and all it took was a few people to discover it and run with it.  The timing, of course, was impeccable.  Content creators all over the grid have been howling for years for better security (and rightfully so), then in swoops the likes of the CDS to save the day.  "We'll stop the copybotters!" CDS proclaimed.  The content creators of the grid oooh'd and aaahh'd, thankful for someone to finally be protecting them.

But then, some rumbling started.  Innocent people were being banned and had no idea why.  It was around this time zFire got his hands on CDS's script and realized with some modification, this script could do a lot more than catch a copybotter.  We all know what happened next- the alt detector was born and others like Quickware Alts and Sparrow Industries soon followed.

Of course, when this privacy issue first exploded, we had no idea the problem went beyond privacy violation and nose dived straight into internet security fraud.  I have to chuckle a little when I think of all the people who worked together to put the pieces of the puzzle together.  Seriously, have you looked at the epic Redzone threads over on SLU?  Forget Sherlock Holmes, we have the forumites over at SLU to handle the job! *laughs*  If you have a couple days to read (yes it's that long) you can literally watch all the pieces drop into place, ultimately ending with the zFire Xue's criminal history being exposed and him banned from Second Life.

Thankfully, as residents across the grid screamed louder and louder for our right to privacy, we even managed to get Linden Lab's attention.  In particular, Soft Linden, whom I think we all owe a major debt of gratitude to. Not only was the Community Standards changed to make revealing alts a violation, but both Quickware Alts and Redzone were banished from the grid.  

We also owe a debt of gratitude to Sione Lomu, the person responsible for coding the media security patch now implemented in various viewers.  Thanks to Sione, we can now better control what connects to us via media and music.

So I ask again... what now?  We're done, right?  Problem solved?


The problem, the very thing that started all this to begin with, still exists.  There is still a security hole in the media filter, which means changes to the TOS and Sione's patch or not, the vulnerability is still there for the next person to come long and try to exploit.  In fact, someone could be using that exploit right this very moment but discreetly so we don't even realize it's happening.

This is why I left the "how to protect your privacy" tab, because while it may be a huge relief to be rid of Redzone, as long as the security vulnerability still exists, our privacy is never truly safe.


  1. ஐ ♣Céad Míle Fáilte!♣ ஐ And well said Theia.

  2. A moment to blink and wet our eyes .. but never to close them to the danger that may yet exist.

  3. a round of applause please, for Theia's tireless efforts to research and inform, and ultimately help wrestle this infection known as zFire & Co. off the grid. Well done!

  4. I vote we all wear a pair of Thiea's panties on our heads and throw a wild boose filled and bubble bath party

  5. Lovely new design! :) I dropped by because I found something and needed to drop a link where it will do some good:

    And now I'm off to see "Zed." And thanks for that lovely change of pace.. :)