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Who can read my Private Conversations?

  1. Jul 25, 2017 #1
    I don't want to create a new thread. Can anyone tell me who can read private messages here? is it only the owner or also all the Mentors or even science advisors?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 25, 2017 #2

    berkeman

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    Private Messages are private to the people who are included (you can see their usernames to the right in the information pane in the Conversation). You can invite others into the Conversation, in which case they see the whole conversation.
     
  4. Jul 25, 2017 #3
    But if the owner or mentors want to read others private messages. This can happen by simply opening the program, right? I'm not speaking of the mentors here but others who also use the same software of this program in general.
     
  5. Jul 25, 2017 #4

    berkeman

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    But this is a question that has nothing to do with this thread. I will split this off as a new thread.
     
  6. Jul 25, 2017 #5

    berkeman

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    You mean like if the FBI subpoenaed @Greg Bernhardt to get access to a user's Private Conversations for legal reasons? Beats me. Maybe Greg will reply when he sees he's been tagged.
     
  7. Jul 25, 2017 #6
    Yup. For example. If I send nuclear launch codes to another member. Can the owner forced open the account and read the private messages. Or are these encrypted with say 256 bit encryption that can't be cracked for a hundred years and one can never read them unless they know the users passwords? Oh.. btw.. can't the owners pry open the passwords? Again I'm not speaking in particular about this physicsforums site but the software by general.
     
  8. Jul 25, 2017 #7

    berkeman

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    Should we be worried about you...?
     
  9. Jul 25, 2017 #8
    No.. hehe.. actually just wondering if we can write personal messages (like sharing details about sex lives) in the private conversations and we want to be sure it can't be read by anyone (even by force)...
     
  10. Jul 25, 2017 #9

    berkeman

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    Why would the FBI be interested in your sex life? :wink:
     
  11. Jul 25, 2017 #10
    Or transferring Nobel Prize caliber contents. I just want to know if any mentor or science advisors can just open the conversations at will.. is there just no way in the software to do that? does the software company only the one who can do that? How does this part of the software work.. and what kind of software (name) does physicforums use anyway..
     
  12. Jul 25, 2017 #11

    Charles Link

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    This is 2017. I believe the question came up before, and I think the only one on PF who has access to the PM's is Greg B. who I trust doesn't spend his time reading them. But in 2017, if you put it on the internet, there's really no guarantee that it won't ever be read by someone else, legally or otherwise.
     
  13. Jul 25, 2017 #12
    The administrator's rights can't be transferred to anyone else? just asking so we can know the level of the privacy of our messages. Of course Greg B won't read them but just wondering if administrator's rights can be transferred to anyone...
     
  14. Jul 25, 2017 #13

    berkeman

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    The Privacy Statement for the PF addresses unauthorized access a bit...
     
  15. Jul 25, 2017 #14

    Nugatory

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    And in case it is not clear from the discussion above.... the mentors are not administrators and do not have access to private messages in conversations that they are not part of.
     
  16. Jul 25, 2017 #15

    Evo

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    Why would you want to come to an Academic forum to write about sex? You realize, if that person gets angry, they can very easily invite dozens of people into the conversation and there is nothing you can do about it. I wouldn't PM anything I wouldn't want the whole world to see at some point.
     
  17. Jul 25, 2017 #16

    mfb

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    Greg (and potentially some employees of the hosting company) is the only one with access, and he will only access messages if forced so by US law.

    All participants in a conversation can read the messages and make them available to others, sharing super private/secret things via forum messages is probably not the best idea anyway.

    They are discussed publicly. On conferences, in other discussions with colleagues, with unencrypted emails, ...
    Excellent work is not created in isolated environments.
     
  18. Jul 25, 2017 #17
    I just want to make a distinction for legal purposes. The messaging function is called "Conversations", not private messages. We often use the phrase private messages or PM, but that is a relic label from the old software. Now, with that said no member has the capability to read another's Conversation unless they are explicitly invited by a member in that specific Conversation. Mentors have the ability to read a Conversation post if it is reported. There is no function in the software that allows for any other capability. Technically I have sole access to the database which contains the messages, but will only investigate if it's a legal or safety matter. In 16 years I can't remember having a reason.

    The software uses bcrypt for its password hash scheme. In the database your password looks like a random string of characters.

    We use a modified version of Xenforo
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2017
  19. Jul 26, 2017 #18

    Bandersnatch

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    Nah, six is max. And you can't kick out anyone to make room for more.
     
  20. Jul 26, 2017 #19

    Orodruin

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    Also, there is the option of not allowing other people to invite new participants. However, nothing stops the person you are having a conversation with from posting it elsewhere or reporting it for all mentors to see.

    Do note the section in the rules regarding what you should not be using Conversations for:
     
  21. Jul 26, 2017 #20

    anorlunda

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    IMO, @Charles Link 's is the real answer. In 2017 I must assume that anytime I open my screen, unmask my microphone or web cam, touch the keyboard, or turn on my phone, or come within 10m of any IOT device, that one or more governments are making a record of it. In 2000 that would have been paranoid, but not so today.

    Many sources today say, "Privacy is dead. Get over it."
     
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