by Pixeleen Mistral on 04/03/11 at 3:26 am
RedZone protects users from 77283 people they have banned plus their alts
The zF RedZone security scanner scandal continues to churn, creating what seems to be a nearly unstoppable epic thread in the SL Universe forums which has grown to over 320 pages (8100 posts) as of this writing. At the heart of the controversy is zFire Xue – the creator of RedZone.
Mr. Xue was gracious enough to consent to an e-mail interview with the Herald. In the interview zFire Xue discussed the variability of Linden Lab’s ToS conditions, his dealings with Patsey and Soft Linden, and his plans for the future.
Pixeleen Mistral: I understand that Linden Lab has removed your zf RedZone from in-world and also removed this product from the Marketplace. Will you be able to meet Linden Lab’s conditions for reinstating this product?
zFire Xue: Yes Patsey Linden has removed the zF RedZone from the Market 2 times, and from inworld 1 or 2 times. zF RedZone has been removed from the Marketplace a total of 4 times, recently one of those was even by myself. It is back in world, and I am debating on posting to the market, as an issue of paying Linden Labs any fees related to zF RedZone for their assistance.
I have always met Linden Lab’s conditions for keeping zF RedZone llLegal(‘If I may add a joke here’);
Pixeleen Mistral: Has Linden Lab changed the conditions under which you are able to sell the RedZone product? How long have you been negotiating with the Lab on this issue?
zFire Xue: Yes Linden Labs has changed a few conditions. Soft Linden has been in contact with me since 2-9-11. We have spoken about the political issues of zF RedZone and how people interpret policy. Soft Linden came up with the idea of a Consent based system. Of course I was not keen on the idea of limiting information in this way, but a type of "background check" system could still work, just not so well for helping stop contest cheaters in clubs.
Eventually it was "Oh, hey, we removed X, Y, and zF RedZone from the marketplace, you may relist it but you have to add a consent system for displaying alt names, and include an Opt-Out system by Friday." (paraphrased) and "we will be ******** the Second Life Community Standards to prohibit disclosure of Residents’ alternate account names without their consent." (I added a few **** and the word "to" so it protects the grammer of the unnamed Linden and isn’t "disclosing a conversation log". )
So I did that, which upset thousands of people. Not my idea at all.
Then some days later Patsy Linden said displaying alt names at all was forbidden, even with consent.
So all alt name display functions where removed.
Then zF RedZone was delisted by the Lindens because of the Consent system the lindens thought of.
Now using a Consent system is forbidden.
I went off on them for that. It was their idea in the first place, I even asked them to look it over, and further explain the finer points of their requirements. No response. Days later Consent is forbidden.
So I just removed all that, and let everyone know I never offered Alt name displays even if that is one of the functions I included, and enjoyed. I posted a notice here: http://isellsl.ath.cx/madsci/forum/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=561
Explaining just as before http://isellsl.ath.cx/madsci/forum/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=490 That zF RedZone changed yet again to adapt to the ever changing SecondLife™ Terms of Service, but all functions continue to operate as normal, but without displaying alt names. In short it still bans alts of people you do not want, does everything the advertisement says, and a bit more.
Pixeleen Mistral: If you and Linden Lab cannot come to an agreement soon, so you plan to move to an outside-of-SL approach for RedZone using paypal and user-installable scripts?
zFire Xue: I had publicly said that I could move RedZone outside of Second Life if Linden Labs wishes it to leave Second Life. To go to a stand alone website, Open-Space, and others, to a paypal paid membership system that hosts no objects in any world. The problem with that is then it becomes nothing but an alt display gadget, and my existing users would not be safe from 77283 people they have banned plus their alts. (Those are private individual bans not grid bans by the way. ) Many of my own users have asked me to go off world with it, etc. Linden Labs knows that if alts cannot be displayed even with consent by RedZone, many many others will take it’s place and do so.
Thanks to the hospitality of the Lindens I am willing to sit back and let that happen. So Linden Labs can hear from thousands of other complaints, but about someone else for a change. This is me allowing a bigger fire to burn elsewhere so the angry mob can go deal with that and I can get back to my own updates in security.
Pixeleen Mistral: Do you have any concerns about the RedZone database being compromised with suspect data if you moved to a user-installable script business model?
zFire Xue: Yes there is an issue with a user installable script business model, which would prevent entirely full perm scripts from being available. They would have to be no mod to protect the methods that ensure the data packet is in sync with valid data sent from the unit itself. It is possible to transmit no mod scripts, or even objects for that matter, but for now that isn’t necessary.
Pixeleen Mistral: Is there anything you would like to tell the Herald readers?
zFire Xue: I would like to thank all of your readers, I would like to invite them to read and understand what zF RedZone is and is not.
As most people know Linden Labs is very slow to deal with Abuse Reports or DMCAs for the few they deal with at all.
The only viewer Linden Labs has blocked is Emerald, which still logs in to SL in some cases.
If you have a griefer or copybot threat zF RedZone is more effective at catching and banning copybot viewers, griefers, stalkers, and the alts they use than Linden Labs itself. Without it, try banning someone, and they will be back with an alternate account.
The bad guys do have new copybot viewers every so often, or other methods to steal, but zF RedZone catches these viewers in time, and the alts of these people, unlike Linden Labs which only sometimes bans or suspends individual accounts, but never stopped a single copybot viewer from logging into the grid.
zF RedZone is not spyware, it does not install anything or record anything that is not public information.
It does use intelligence to calculate things for security purposes. There are no script functions for keylogging or voice media controls as the other side of the debate will have you believe.
Please visit http://isellsl.ath.cx/rzfaq.php for answers to more questions.
zFire Xue =)