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Author Topic: Responsibility in Web Services  (Read 4672 times)

wraith808

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Responsibility in Web Services
« on: February 17, 2010, 02:00:44 PM »
There is a web service called Please Rob Me (at predictably enough http://pleaserobme.com) that takes location based social networks and streams all of the locations that people are at when they aren't at home (hence the name).  They say that their intent is not that people get robbed- but what if a robber does use the service?  Does a simple non-intent statement get them off the hook?  Admittedly broadcasting your location is a bit silly (I don't even broadcast my name and such), but to aggregate all of that information with a convenient search by username and location seems a bit much...

Stephen66515

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Re: Responsibility in Web Services
« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2010, 02:08:34 PM »
Quote from: PleaseRobMe
The goal of this website is to raise some awareness on this issue and have people think about how they use services like Foursquare, Brightkite, Google Buzz etc.


Surely they could get this message across WITHOUT actually broadcasting where people are away from home?

IMHO this website should be shut down and the owner charged with intent to aid theft.

Stoic Joker

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Re: Responsibility in Web Services
« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2010, 04:02:56 PM »
No, they can't ... because people really are that thick. Just look at the texting while driving stats)


Stephen66515

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Re: Responsibility in Web Services
« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2010, 04:40:15 PM »
Then, people who are that thick, they cant understand the need to not tell people when their house is empty, deserve to be robbed...hopefully they will steal their access to the internet, that way, we don't have to deal with them.

wraith808

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Re: Responsibility in Web Services
« Reply #4 on: February 17, 2010, 05:42:09 PM »
No, they can't ... because people really are that thick. Just look at the texting while driving stats)



But does this make them any less culpable?  What if someone cased your house, then told a 3rd party that you weren't home- so they could rob you.  Would they be culpable?  Of course.  Why not this?

"Because in this case, you're the one telling."  So... what about the case that you tell someone that you'll be over, or make an appointment with a doctor, or give anyone the information that you won't be at home, and they provide that information to a 3rd party.  Would they be at fault?

Just because the information is there, and they put it out there, there's no excuse for packaging it up like this.

Stoic Joker

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Re: Responsibility in Web Services
« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2010, 10:13:55 PM »
(If somebody fails to temporarily cancel delivery) Is the news paper boy culpable for delivering your paper every day you're on vacation? A stack of papers in the driveway is a big red flag.

A flag is a flag, and people need to start taking responsibility for their own actions instead of constantly whining all the time and expecting to be protected from themselves. It's either Common Sense -or- Natural Selection (it's a law) needs to be allowed to run its course.

wraith808

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Re: Responsibility in Web Services
« Reply #6 on: February 17, 2010, 10:24:28 PM »
I'm not talking about protection, though.  If there is something you forget, there's something you forget.  But this is an intentional service.  There's a big difference between driving up an down streets, casing a location, and typing in a location on a web page and getting results.  I'm not talking about protecting people from themselves, I'm talking about not putting the exploit in the open for someone to take advantage of.  If we're talking natural selection for instance, there's a very big difference between an idiot driving along a road at high speed and losing control, and someone knowing he's going to drive at high speed so sabotaging the brakes to make sure he can't slow down on the curve.

I'm definitely against protecting people from their own actions and/or people whinging because they made a mistake and it came back to bite them in the butt.  But this is something different, IMO.

Stoic Joker

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Re: Responsibility in Web Services
« Reply #7 on: February 18, 2010, 06:03:56 AM »
Perhaps, but I look at the "Social Networks" as being no different than being at a party IRL. Say the wrong thing to the right person and it can end badly on several levels. People seem to thing they have an automatic "Safety Sticker" on the interweb because they're (safely...) in their homes. An they're not... Much like any interaction between parties since the beginning of time; one needs to be discreet about how much information they give out and to whom (when & where should be considered also).

The people listed on the site have already announced their whereabouts in a public forum - The site is simply trying to dramatize why that is bad (by putting them all in a group next to a Notice the Fool sign). Now, the fact that this is going on has certainly grabbed our attention and (that was the point) hopefully it should get more then a few people to stop and think about how much is too much information to be broadcasting to the world. :)

wraith808

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Re: Responsibility in Web Services
« Reply #8 on: February 18, 2010, 07:05:39 AM »
But there are better ways to do it- the search based on username and location is the largest part of what I have a problem with.  If they just posted and scrolled it off the page (which they do), I wouldn't have a problem with it as a social awareness project- but to actually allow searches?  And it's a lot different than a party- a party is only a few hundred people, and what are the chances that someone in your circle of friends or their circles being a crook.  Now expand that to the online community- what are the chances that someone there is? (Considering that convicts get cell phones smuggled in, pretty large, I'd say).  Then what is the chance that someone will use this in a negative way?  And you can't really expect to blame it on the person when it happens, can you?

Stoic Joker

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Re: Responsibility in Web Services
« Reply #9 on: February 18, 2010, 09:57:41 AM »
But there are better ways to do it- the search based on username and location is the largest part of what I have a problem with. If they just posted and scrolled it off the page (which they do), I wouldn't have a problem with it as a social awareness project- but to actually allow searches?
But that's really the only easy way for (Sheeple) someone to look themselves up to see if their Digital Fly is Down.

Quote
And it's a lot different than a party- a party is only a few hundred people, and what are the chances that someone in your circle of friends or their circles being a crook.  Now expand that to the online community- what are the chances that someone there is?
(Ya know they say there is one in every crowd...) I'd say it's a 50/50 either way - But I do tend to be a bit cynical... ;)

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Then what is the chance that someone will use this in a negative way?

I'd say they are identical to the chance of anything on the internet being misused. Which is identical to the chances that imformation gleaned from a book in the public library will be misused.

Quote
And you can't really expect to blame it on the person when it happens, can you?
Honestly? ...Yes.

wraith808

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Re: Responsibility in Web Services
« Reply #10 on: February 18, 2010, 10:02:10 AM »
Quote
And you can't really expect to blame it on the person when it happens, can you?
Honestly? ...Yes.

So, to carry it a bit further, if I case your house, then let someone know when you're gone, and they happen to rob you, it's your fault.  You let me know when you were leaving by driving out of your garage, so you can't blame me... right?

Stoic Joker

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Re: Responsibility in Web Services
« Reply #11 on: February 18, 2010, 11:33:40 AM »
Quote
And you can't really expect to blame it on the person when it happens, can you?
Honestly? ...Yes.

So, to carry it a bit further, if I case your house, then let someone know when you're gone, and they happen to rob you, it's your fault.  You let me know when you were leaving by driving out of your garage, so you can't blame me... right?
That's a bit to microcosmic for the sake of accuracy. A better analogy would be, if I were dumb enough to put an ad in the paper saying I was going on vacation, and that ad included sufficient personal information for my abode to be located. And you pointed out said ad to various people saying look at this idiot - He should get robbed for being that stupid.

Then, you would be 100% correct, and I would indeed be that stupid and (e.g. deserving of said blame).

steeladept

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Re: Responsibility in Web Services
« Reply #12 on: February 18, 2010, 11:45:53 AM »
Sorry Joker, but your example would be more appropriate without the aggregation.  This site aggregating the information makes Wraith's example closer.  Specifically, you provide a simple search for someone specific, so in a sense, you are "casing" the person.  The information is already out there without the search capabilities, so that would be more analogous to you stating it publicly and only people looking in the right place could find it.  It takes no additional work on the part of the criminal to search the aggregated site, just like someone casing your place would take no additional work to note when you leave.  Whereas if it were not aggregated, then they would have to search all the information for each person independently, just like someone trying to find where someone posted the information in the paper.  

EDIT:  That said, it is stupid for people to place that info out there in the first place.  But does that give someone else the right to exploit the information?  Current law says no.  And for this reason, the site should not exist in it's current form.  It isn't like it couldn't be set up where you have to identify yourself and your account credentials before it would put the info out there on you.  It could still aggregate the information from publicly available sources, but make it so it can log into any one account (so they have a reasonable way of determining you are who you claim) first to verify that you are checking only on yourself.  That would be the right way to put this information out without being an accomplice, even an unwitting one.  And yes, I know there are other issues with this approach, but it is still better than making it available to all people.

« Last Edit: February 18, 2010, 11:52:15 AM by steeladept »

wraith808

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Re: Responsibility in Web Services
« Reply #13 on: February 18, 2010, 12:40:34 PM »
Quote from another site about how these socio-stalking-servicesTM is used:

Quote
Collectors and repo-men are using these social networking sites to skip-trace where you could be and will come take your stuff. They'll openly admit to "cyber-stalking" to find where you are.

Stoic Joker

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Re: Responsibility in Web Services
« Reply #14 on: February 18, 2010, 01:31:28 PM »
Sorry Joker, but your example would be more appropriate without the aggregation.  This site aggregating the information makes Wraith's example closer.

Not really, Wrath's example leaves out one critical point. That is a Reasonable Expectation of Privacy. The example openly admits the Wraith is casing my house where I'm to have a Reasonable Expectation of Privacy. My example allows for the fact that the critical personal information is already being divulged in a public forum by me. There is no expectation of privacy in a public forum (real/reasonable or imaginary).

Therein lying my point, sheeple babble their entire life story in a public forum without any regard for how that information may be used by other people who are also active in said public forum (that may have ill intent). That quit simply puts them at the center of the causality of their downfalls (because they didn't stop and think about the ramifications of their own actions).

If somebody googles a persons name, and google pulls up comments made by that person saying here's my house and I'm on vacation ... Is google guilty of anything? No.

wraith808

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Re: Responsibility in Web Services
« Reply #15 on: February 18, 2010, 02:02:58 PM »
But Google isn't aggregating the information.  Your ad analogy also leaves something out as you are intentionally submitting your information to an aggregator (the newspaper).  I suppose something in the middle would be more to the point, i.e. I'm walking by and you're talking on your cell phone about leaving the country.  Then I tell someone who robs you.  Did you broadcast to me specifically?  No.  But it was public.  So did I do anything wrong?

Stoic Joker

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Re: Responsibility in Web Services
« Reply #16 on: February 18, 2010, 02:30:41 PM »
But Google isn't aggregating the information.  Your ad analogy also leaves something out as you are intentionally submitting your information to an aggregator (the newspaper).
Right, Just like the folks on Social Networking sites intentionally submit their personal info to the Social Network - Which is a Public Forum no different then the Personals Column of the Local (equally public) News Paper.

Quote
I suppose something in the middle would be more to the point, i.e. I'm walking by and you're talking on your cell phone about leaving the country.  Then I tell someone who robs you.  Did you broadcast to me specifically?  No.  But it was public.  So did I do anything wrong?

Hm... (Muddy Waters...) I'll go both ways on this. If someone is having a private (phone) conversation in a public place, and they're keeping their voice low (as a best effort) to avoid broadcasting the information then that would be you. However this does require an overt breach of privacy and intent.

Now (Much closer to the typical Social Networking Herd) If someone was yelling (as they often do) into one of those silly ear-bud widgets. ...Which leaves most of us wondering if they are actually talking to us, are completely insane, or are in the middle of a phone call ... Then it their own fault.

If you lose your wallet and somebody finds it, then strips out the cash and tosses the rest into a dumpster. Did they rob you? No. Were they nice to you & a kind person? (hell) no. Is it your fault for leaving your wallet on the roof of the car when you drove away giving them access to it in the first place? Damn Straight.

wraith808

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Re: Responsibility in Web Services
« Reply #17 on: February 18, 2010, 02:49:39 PM »
This is actually getting quite interesting :)  Let's take it up a notch, shall we?

From The Patriot Post:
Quote
The Obama administration has argued that Americans don't enjoy a "reasonable expectation of privacy" when it comes to their whereabouts as revealed by their cell phones, and therefore warrant-less tapping is allowed. Not only that, but lawyers for the U.S. Department of Justice say that "a customer's Fourth Amendment rights are not violated when the phone company reveals to the government its own records" showing where calls were placed or received.

Now, you know that your cell phone has a GPS tracking device in it, and you make a call anyway.  If someone uses that information against you, your argument would be that the Obama Administration was correct in their argument?

To take it further still, from the EFF:
Quote
Residences. Everyone has a reasonable expectation of privacy in their home. This is not just a house as it says in the Fourth Amendment, but anywhere you live, be it an apartment, a hotel or motel room, or a mobile home.

However, even things in your home might be knowingly exposed to the public and lose their Fourth Amendment protection. For example, you have no reasonable expectation of privacy in conversations or other sounds inside your home that a person outside could hear, or odors that a passerby could smell (although the Supreme Court has held that more invasive technological means of obtaining information about the inside of your home, like thermal imaging technology to detect heat sources, is a Fourth Amendment search requiring a warrant). Similarly, if you open your house to the public for a party, a political meeting, or some other public event, police officers could walk in posing as guests and look at or listen to whatever any of the other guests could, without having to get a warrant.

So, in the case that I am outside of your home, in a public location, do you still have a reasonable expectation of privacy?  It seems to only cover the inside of your home.

Stoic Joker

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Re: Responsibility in Web Services
« Reply #18 on: February 18, 2010, 07:11:53 PM »
This is actually getting quite interesting :)  Let's take it up a notch, shall we?
Sure, I haven't had this much fun on the Internet in a while :)

Quote
From The Patriot Post:
Quote
The Obama administration has argued that Americans don't enjoy a "reasonable expectation of privacy" when it comes to their whereabouts as revealed by their cell phones, and therefore warrant-less tapping is allowed. Not only that, but lawyers for the U.S. Department of Justice say that "a customer's Fourth Amendment rights are not violated when the phone company reveals to the government its own records" showing where calls were placed or received.

Now, you know that your cell phone has a GPS tracking device in it, and you make a call anyway.  If someone uses that information against you, your argument would be that the Obama Administration was correct in their argument?
Well... You're half right. The locality & time are standard items to track on any network, and if the phone carrier wishes to share their logs with the fuzz... Well... (sh)IT Happens.

Now on the second part, which is a rather mind blowing leap regarding warrant-less tapping. No, that ain't fair game for the phone carrier to just hand it over to the fuzz without warrant (pun intended). But that's the hiccup with any law enforcement agency - A never ending game of access - Which was created specifically to keep them honest. 10 years ago that would have been a simple question (answer: hell no), But with fear & the patriot act running rampant George Orwell's popularity is once again soaring.

I come from a time when there was us, and them - The A infamous Them, the fuzz, the man, big brother, etc. There was a core group of people you trusted and held dear, and the rest of the world sucked - Cops? ...Were just another street gang to be avoided.

[Side note] I've been sitting here rereading that last part for the past 20 minutes, and much as it sounds like the opening line of some lame-assed dime novel - I just can't fix it (I've been side tracked about 400 times - I'll try to do better on the next part). [/Side Note]


To take it further still, from the EFF:
Quote
Residences. Everyone has a reasonable expectation of privacy in their home. This is not just a house as it says in the Fourth Amendment, but anywhere you live, be it an apartment, a hotel or motel room, or a mobile home.

However, even things in your home might be knowingly exposed to the public and lose their Fourth Amendment protection. For example, you have no reasonable expectation of privacy in conversations or other sounds inside your home that a person outside could hear, or odors that a passerby could smell (although the Supreme Court has held that more invasive technological means of obtaining information about the inside of your home, like thermal imaging technology to detect heat sources, is a Fourth Amendment search requiring a warrant). Similarly, if you open your house to the public for a party, a political meeting, or some other public event, police officers could walk in posing as guests and look at or listen to whatever any of the other guests could, without having to get a warrant.

So, in the case that I am outside of your home, in a public location, do you still have a reasonable expectation of privacy?  It seems to only cover the inside of your home.[/quote]

Slippery slope of intent vs. discretion there. The Castle Doctrine states that you can defend your property with deadly force if being threatened. There is no obligation to flee or prove that one was cornered before taking the offensive. This being countered by proximity and the neighbors having the same options rights.

I actually have a first hand perspective on this, being that the neighbors are rather close, and prone to throw somewhat wild (loud really) parties. Ebonics and lingo aside... my hearing is not what it used to be. So If I can make out the details of the crime you are boasting about committing to your buddies (which I then relay to a cop that happened to be in the neighborhood...because I called them), solely because you were shouting it out in the middle of the yard, loud enough for me to hear next door. ...Hay it's all you. ...But that's the price one pays for waking me up at 2:00am :) <- Now that's (a true story, and) the best example of lacking discretion I can think of.

Intent, on the other hand, would be using a parabolic microphone to hear a whispered conversation in a closed room (where privacy is to be expected).

wraith808

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Re: Responsibility in Web Services
« Reply #19 on: February 18, 2010, 10:32:34 PM »
Hmmm... I can't think of a good comeback for that one.  :)  Well, I hope this pleaserobme thing doesn't lead to anything bad; if it does, I don't know if the courts will see it the same way that you do. :)