She has written to David Cochrane and I await his reply with interest.
Cc P.ie members
Re: Privacy and Intimidation Issues on Politics.ie
P.ie operates as an open political forum in which members can opt to post anonymously.
P.ie holds data provided by members (user names and associated email addresses) which is given solely for the purposes of registration, notifications and logging in. The forum is generally understood to offer an opportunity for open political discussion with members operating on equal terms.
Privacy on a discussion board can never be 100% guaranteed, as there’s always the possibility of hacking or leakage. There have been several incidences of “outings” on P.ie and there have been accidental releases of information from other discussion forums.
However, wilful, systemic or malicious breach of members privacy is another matter and would not in my opinion be acceptable. All websites that hold personal data are required to have a Privacy Statement. The absence of a Privacy Statement on Politics.ie in my opinion should be of concern to you and to all members.
Privacy controls on P.ie are unclear. In the last three weeks I have been told by more than one poster on P.ie that the name I used in registering my membership has been “bandied about” by a group or clique of site members (which included at least one moderator), in a hostile and physically threatening context.
In addition, a member of the same group used that same name in an abusive pm to me, clearly with the intention to intimidate and harrass. This same member has (I’m told) threatened violence against me in writing. I asked him several times on two threads how he obtained my registration name and he refused to reply.
It also appears possible (from a recent post) that a member of the same group, who is not a moderator, has had access to members’ private messages
Yet another member of the former user-group has recently claimed that one of this group is a Guard who knows the “real” identity of another site member. Questions about both Guard role and site privacy arise, if this is true. If untrue, it was an unacceptable untruth by the poster, intended to intimidate.
All of this information was provided on site and can be substantiated. I have kept screen grabs of the relevant posts for my records.
I also note that you propose in your recent “Stopping Trolls” Opening Post to involve “security” and the Gardai in the internal management and scrutiny of the Politics.ie website. While I support efforts to reduce trolling and don’t support any illegal behaviour, I would like to enquire if you believe this will be compatible with the privacy of members’ data.
The future (and present) of Politics.ie – Stopping the Trolls
P.ie members, myself included, have supported, and continue to support, your efforts to overcome the various problems P.ie has been experiencing. I am sure that these issues can be solved if an open and serious effort is made to deal with them. I am requesting you to take steps to introduce a Privacy Statement and policy and to deal with the other issues I’ve raised here in relation to privacy and personal attacks.
As a precaution, I provided this message to a number of Site Members on the understanding that one of them will post it as an OP if I am banned.
Cactusflower 18 December 2009
I was banned on the evening of 18th December without explanation. I request an
explanation for the banning, the opportunity to respond to any alleged reason and reinstatement of my membership.
The pretext I believe may have been that I had read tweets of a member, dot. II would like to point out that twitter is an open medium ( unless privacy settings are selected) . dot advertises her blog on P.ie, has widely published her blogger identity as being dot and takes every opportunity to maximize the audience of her blogs. Imo any such complaint would be ludicrous beyond belief.
Twitter is a free social networking and micro-blogging service that enables its users to send and read messages known as tweets. Tweets are text-based posts of up to 140 characters displayed on the author’s profile page and delivered to the author’s subscribers who are known as followers. Senders can restrict delivery to those in their circle of friends or, by default, allow open access”