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 Post subject: New users and IP bans
PostPosted: Sat Oct 04, 2014 8:02 pm 
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New users no longer need to have their posts approved, and we've emptied out the IP ban list! This is not to say that we will never add new IP bans again; if we need to in order to prevent abusive users then we will. But we hope it will help any of our normal users who have been caught out by the bans in the past.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 05, 2014 4:49 pm 
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From the GG discussion thread:

Quote:
Also, I'm guessing we turned off the spam filter, because a spambot got through. Can we turn it back on?


What was in place before:

Every new user must have their first post approved before any of their posts show up in the forum.
When spammers are identified, their IP address is blacklisted (but just here).

I received complaints about both of those things, although mostly the latter. Some were understanding of the situation (some blocks had to be wide enough that the net caught more than just the spammer). Some, not so much.

What is in place now:

No first-post approval required
No local IP address blacklisting
Forum mod that checks various shared blacklists, with options to report.

The blacklist is working extremely well. For the two sets of spam that got through today, hundreds have been blocked. That said, it isn't hard to re-enable the first-post approval that was in place previously. It didn't appear to be needed, since in the days since the Spam Blocker was added, not a single spam post had made it through the filter. If this is the case, a minor revision will be needed to a certain bit in the Code of Conduct.

As for the IP bans, I'm not sure we need to bring that back. Effectively, we're doing the same thing with this new add-on, but in a way that doesn't have to cast the net as wide as we did before.

As for "bots" versus "humans" -- I don't know if it's really, or entirely, bots. The sign-up process asks a random question that the user has to answer. It's supposed to require some thought. So either a human is signing up (whether or not the account is then turned over to a bot to do the actual spamming), or a sign-up bot has been customized with the answers to these questions (in which case we could make up new ones, which would help at least for a while).


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 05, 2014 7:42 pm 
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The new user approval has been turned on again temporarily. As before, we try to be quick to approve posts!


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 05, 2014 7:45 pm 
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I was in there trying to figure it out, and I set a "1" for the number of posts for a user to remain in the New Registered Users group. Hope I didn't mess up the actual feature in doing so. I forgot how it worked.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 05, 2014 7:47 pm 
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No, that's exactly how it gets turned on.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2014 2:26 am 
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Could we have a definite statement how this IP blacklist works? Is the user's address matched against a previously downloaded blacklist or are all addresses sent to some third-party to be matched? I'd be very uncomfortable with the latter.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2014 3:29 am 
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It gets sent to another site.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2014 4:05 am 
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So what is your agreement with this third party about processing, usage and storage of this personal information?


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2014 6:15 am 
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Hannes wrote:
So what is your agreement with this third party about processing, usage and storage of this personal information?

An IP address is not personal information. Before your IP even gets to the machine hosting intfiction.org, it passes through a multitude (dozens) of other services first. All of those intermediaries then have your IP address.

If you think that sending your IP to the blacklist matcher is a problem, then you have waaaaay bigger problems to worry about first.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2014 7:14 am 
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RealNC wrote:
Hannes wrote:
So what is your agreement with this third party about processing, usage and storage of this personal information?

An IP address is not personal information. Before your IP even gets to the machine hosting intfiction.org, it passes through a multitude (dozens) of other services first. All of those intermediaries then have your IP address.

If you think that sending your IP to the blacklist matcher is a problem, then you have waaaaay bigger problems to worry about first.

European legislation and courts disagree.


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