Some Important Things To Know About IRC
and the 'Net
Objective: To illustrate some points of note while on IRC and the
Net in general.
There are some important things people should know about the Internet,
and IRC in particular. These notes are important, for they may have legal/emotional/physical/etc
ramifications. Some of these are based on my experiences, others are based
on what I know, and what has been distributed around. Take note.
- On IRC, your chatter may be LOGGED. In other words, everything you
type may be saved on a hard disk somewhere. I make it a point to log everything
(it helps in writing my own personal logs afterwards), but serves as a
convienient reference at times, even though my logs (dating back to June
'96) occupy quite some hard drive real estate.
- Related note: be careful. What you say may be logged by someone else,
and replayed extremely easily... Take note of this.
- Related note: this is legal too. Recording of any conversation is legal.
Depending on the local laws, most laws say something about one party having
knowledge of the logging activity. I do know I log, because I physically
set AUTO-LOGGING to ON.
- Beware that the party you are talking about will hear about what you
say (maybe). My experiences is that I have either been told, or found out
by myself, some things that were meant to be distributed to a select group.
Instead of grilling everyone about it (I have proof... emails and
logs), I decided that I would take this as criticisms, to improve
myself, although several comments have been EXTREMELY hurtful. Your
next recipient may not be so generous.
- E-Mail isn't secure. It isn't. While some places may make it illegal
to read other's e-mails, realize that there are places that don't have
those restrictions. E-mail can be saved on these systems, logged, and read.
- Related note: don't think your E-mail on the server is secure.
Most servers make the e-mail availiable to the administrator, as well as
saving e-mail in PLAIN TEXT form on the hard drives. Any unscrupulous
admin can come and read it.
- Related note: double-check your e-mail addresses when sending SENSITIVE data.
Although such data might be best encrypted, some data makes the security
of encryption a pointless exercise (perhaps a pre-release product announcement).
Some mail servers forward mail to the admin of the system, as well as bouncing
it back to you. (This is purely for diagnostic reasons: if the admin didn't
know, how is he/she going to fix it?)
- While TCP/IP tends to make long transmissions harder to intercept
(because each packet takes a different route), there are some points that
are common to all packets... Points like: your machine, your ISP's modem/computer
bank (unless you have multiple 'net connections), the remote host's machine.
- The Internet can be finnicky at times. If the host is unreachable,
try again in 20 minutes... sometimes it could be the host machine has to
be restarted, or perhaps someone is fixing it, or some other reason. If
a server isn't working, try again later.
This page is copyright 1997 by the author. Everything
stated is generally known, concentrated in one document. Any additional
notes? EMAIL me.