PM's and Privacy at Wilders

Discussion in 'General Topics' started by Smokey, Feb 26, 2006.

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  1. Smokey

    Smokey Registered Member

    Dear admins/mods,

    I'm a bit curious.

    Wilders is a pure Security Forum, and therefore my (maybe stupid) question:

    Is it for a admin and/or mod possible, to get access to PM's of the forum members?
  2. dog

    dog Guest

    No the contents are completely private. :)
  3. Smokey

    Smokey Registered Member

    Ok, thanks for the fast clearance of my question;)
  4. stapp

    stapp Global Moderator

    I am not surprised at that answer, I only wish some other forums had the same ethics.
  5. Paranoid2000

    Paranoid2000 Registered Member

    These threads indicate that PMs can be viewed if an admin really wants to. From a security standpoint, it would be prudent to assume that any data you submit to a forum can be accessed by its admins, though responsible ones will refrain from abuse.

    Ultimately, if you want to communicate completely privately, consider using other channels (IM, email, etc) while using (strong) encryption.
  6. ~*Nat*~

    ~*Nat*~ Registered Member

    Yep! Privacy is EVERYTHING! ;) :D

    Anyone want my 20 or so email-addresses ? Just to make sure...? :ninja:

    :D :p :D :eek:
  7. controler

    controler Guest

    Yes if you log in here your IP is logged. Everything you say is logged.
    Even your so called private messages. That is why Wilders finialy went you can not post unless registered.

    Yes there are some evil people lurking here but unless they register, they can not post now. They can look all they want :D

    I was surprised the other day when a registered poster complained about me.
    She thought I was an evil person. But she only comes here and posts random things in either 10F or General.

    Funny girl.

  8. Smokey

    Smokey Registered Member

    Hi Paranoid!


    I already presumed that, and therefore my question here.

    With other words: Dog's answer is probably not correct.
    I say probably, 'cause i'm not sure, i could be wrong, and if so, my well-meant excuses to Dog.

    It's not the fact that i don't trust the admins here, Wilders is a fine community, but just because it's a well-respected security-forum i must trust on the fact that it isn't possible to anybody reading my PM's, admins included.
    In what way however.

    Maybe an admin can give here the pure facts about PM's and Vbulletin?
  9. ~*Nat*~

    ~*Nat*~ Registered Member

    Paranoia or not - and excuse dear MODS & ADMINS if off topic :doubt:

    Yes, I do post only nonsense (randomly) in 10F....but I didn't call you evil...did I ??
    I don't remember ! :eek:
  10. Paranoid2000

    Paranoid2000 Registered Member

    I'd suggest that Dog's initial reply was based on Wilders' forum policy rather than what is technically possible with vBulletin. Given that this forum has several long-standing admins (Paul, LWM, Nick) who have shown dedication to security and privacy issues in the past, I would consider it quite unlikely that this forum would have the capability added to allow admins to view PMs, but not impossible.
  11. Smokey

    Smokey Registered Member

    Dear girls and guys,

    please let's try to stick at topic: "PM's and Privacy at Wilders".

    IMHO this thread should stay clear, to me the topic is to important for off-topic discussions.

  12. Smokey

    Smokey Registered Member

    I think exact the same way.

    I highly respect the Wilders admins, but, like you said, nothing is impossible.
  13. Devil's Advocate

    Devil's Advocate Registered Member

    Evil people can register too you know.

    I complained about you too! :D
  14. LowWaterMark

    LowWaterMark Administrator

    vBulletin does not come with an interface for even admins to read other people's PMs. In fact, until P2K pointed it out, I never actually thought there would be a modification out there to do that. But, I suppose there are mods for just about anything.

    The only admin tools provided within vBulletin that relate to PMs include a "count" of PMs by user, (probably to determine utilization and disk space needs), tools to delete all PMs by user, and profile options to enable or disable a user's ability to send/receive PMs. That's it.

    But, as noted in the links over at the, it certainly would be possible to "get at" the PMs if you have the right access and knowledge. Since there isn't anything in vBulletin to do it, only someone with direct server access rights could get to the database and the PM tables. People with server-side access here is very limited.

    So, while it is technically possible for us to get into the database and access the tables where those would be stored, the remaining question is, do we? The answer to that is, no. I can't prove that one way or the other, of course. You either believe me or you don't. If you don't, then as P2K mentioned, simply don't send anything confidential via PM. But, also be careful and read the other part of what P2K said. Even email can be read by third-parties unless you use a good encryption tool.
  15. StevieO

    StevieO Registered Member

    I'm very pleased to see that discussion has been allowed to run on this topic, as i'm sure lots of others will be too ! I hope people can be much more frank and open in future.

    Taking the mystery out of things like this by providing detailed info, rather than just saying it's to do with tos and management decisions etc, makes everybody feel like they are on the same side and working together as a team, and not left floating with air.


  16. wildman

    wildman Registered Member

    :thumb: I for one say thank you StevieO, I could not agree more with this post. Running a forum can not be an easy task, and while some may not believe it, I do take my hat off to them. I think I have stated before that I think Wilders in one of the best sites of it's type on the WEB, my opinion has not changed.


  17. Firecat

    Firecat Registered Member

    I trust the Wilders' operating staff enough to be 100% sure that no unauthorised party is looking at my private messages. The staff at Wilders' works very hard to maintain the forum's quality, and this is one of the most reputable forums in the world. I respect the staff for their efforts and thank them for all that they have provided us. :)
  18. Smokey

    Smokey Registered Member

    Hi LWM!

    Thanks for the full clarification!

    To me you don't have to prove anything, i believe you without any reservation.

  19. LambChop

    LambChop Registered Member

    I would like to clear something up

    While it seems clear enough to me that no unauthorized persons would be able to view PMs --
    I would like to know that if I or anyone else were to start receiving unwanted or offending PMs -- We could rest assured that Mods or administrators not only could, but would put a Stop to it?

    I would hate for some evil/nasty sorts to think that just because no one else could see what they are sending out in PMs -- that they would be allowed to continue to offend without paying the consequences!
  20. LowWaterMark

    LowWaterMark Administrator

  21. LambChop

    LambChop Registered Member

    Thank you so much for the reply and the info. Great to know!
  22. Jaws

    Jaws Registered Member


    I happened to ask the same over at CastleCops last summer.

    In case your interested, some interesting comments by Paul:
  23. mercurie

    mercurie A Friendly Creature

    Fellow Creatures,
    This is interesting.

    However, I do PMs like I have no privacy from Admins. and Mods.

    But then again I always try to conduct myself so that it does not matter.

    Now remember, truely honest, honorable people will not do evil even if they have knowledge. Remember knowing something is one thing, acting on that knowledge is another matter. ;)
  24. Cochise

    Cochise A missed friend

    I know, without a shadow of doubt and with utmost certainty, that our most excellent and caring Leaders on this wonderful Forum DO NOT READ OR HAVE FREE ACCESS TO PMs posted here............How do I know this you may ask?...How can I be so sure you may ask?.....

    My answer to that is.........If they could read PMs.......

    I would have been BANNED long ago......:D :D :D :D :D :D :-* :-* :-*

    Rest easy Dear Readers, your secrets are safe here.....:thumb: ;)

    Cochise,:cool: PM'ing in Pimlico (Secretly)...
  25. Acadia

    Acadia Registered Member

    I trust Paul and company to the max, however you must remember, if the FBI or another law enforcement agency subpoenaed vBulletin for records, they would have no choice but to turn everything over; of course, if you're doing something that naughty, WHAT ARE YOU DOING AT WILDERS?! :D

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